Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vegetarianism Saga

I have been thinking a lot about some of the comments from my vegetarianism posts and really appreciate all the thoughtful comments and suggestions that people have made.  I have long wanted to eat a better more healthy diet and watching Food Inc. made me feel that way even more!  My family and I have cut way back on the amount of meat that we consume and since the movie, I have stopped enjoying meat the way I used to.  At this point, I do think that going 100% vegetarian is a difficult task for me.  I am slowly starting to eat meat again and I am planning on, like so many have mentioned,  making sure that meat is not the main part of my family's meals.  I am hoping that with meat being a minor part in the meals, I can actually get meats that are better for us to consume, such as: free range chicken, grass fed cows, pork, and not that it is meat, but getting eggs from free range chickens.  This means that hopefully the animals have been treated humanely.  I have never thought that I would be a PETA type person, but after watching the movie and seeing how animals are treated and hearing the comment about how we treat animals can be a reflection on how we treat each other, I am reconsidering how I feel.  We have such a disconnect from not only animals and our environment, but also from each other.  Maybe if we start treating the earth and animals better, we will start treating each other better.

I'll now get off my soapbox and stop my rant, not that I meant this post to be a rant, but I guess sometimes that's where the thoughts go.  I guess after all of this I am what society now calls a flexitarian.  I guess that means someone who, like me, is looking to decrease the amount of meat in their diet.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Change the World Wednesday

So I decided to join the challenge of using reusable cups for at least 7 days.

This week only use reusable mugs/glasses. Yep ... for seven whole days, refuse anything that isn't reusable. Bring your own mug to your favorite coffee shop ... haul your own glass to the soda dispenser at the corner convenience store ... carry your own mug/glass to fast-food restaurants. If a drink comes in something that will be tossed out ... either don't buy it or use your own vessel. 

 I figured this would be easy.  We really don't eat out much, if at all.  I'm not drinking coffee anymore, just tea and I have a reusable cup that I use all the time.  I very rarely get tea outside my house.  I was doing great up the til I needed milk for my 3 kids and was out at the mall.  I ended up getting 2 individual milks because I had to.  Not the best choice, but the kids needed milk and I didn't even have milk at the house so that I could have brought it with me.  I need to think ahead so that I have what I need in the house to reduce the amount of plastic that I use.  Then the other issues was the twins' birthday party.  We used cups that were way too big and they were plastic and then we had styrofoam cups for coffee.  I'm not sure how to deal with this when you have a lot of people and can't use glass or reusable cups.  I suppose there were ways that I could have recycled, but I just didn't think to do this.  Personally I used way too many plastic cups because I kept losing the one that I had.   It was at my house, and since I was doing this challenge you would think that I would have used a glass cup that I could have washed.

Even though I didn't succeed at this challenge, I am glad that I joined in.  It really made me evaluate howI use items in my life.  I will certainly think more about what I use, why, and how I can make better choices.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Eating Meat

So I wasn't as good as I had hoped at the whole not eating meat thing.  We had the twins birthday party on Sat and we had a cold cut platter and I had a ham sandwich. Not too bad you might say, except I also had bacon and shepard's pie on Sunday.  The only good thing is that these were food items I had in the house so if I didn't eat them, I probably would have thrown them out and that would have been wasteful.    I am planning on keeping my resolve to not really eat meat.  I have little to no desire to eat any type of meat on a regular basis.  I will have to eat some things with meat though, because I have a family that likes to eat meat.  We will continue to eat less meat and more beans, and if possible, eat meat that is treated in a humane safe and healthy way.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Becoming Vegetarian

Since watching Food Inc., I have had little to no desire to eat meat, any meat (I have eaten two meals that were meat dishes. Unfortunately one meal was chicken patties from Tyson {why did I eat that} and steak that was in the freezer).  I totally understand that there are those farmers' that actually slaughter animals in a humane way.  Actually, it's not just the slaughter that bothers me, it's the way that the animals are treated in general.  I never thought that I'd be the animal lover, PETA type person for becoming a vegetarian, but as the movie stated, how you treat animals is how you treat the world (paraphrased).  I can't believe that is how we treat what is going into our bodies and most of us don't think anything of it.  I never thought about it before this movie.

I have made many new and different dishes made mostly with beans.  I never thought that I would enjoy bean dishes as much as I have.  Two days ago, for the first time ever, I made chili with out meat.  I had bought a bag of chili mix and it had wheat berries in it.  It called for eggplant to replace the meat, but I forgot to buy it.  I made the chili anyway and it was absolutely delicious!  I had it left over again last night. I did add cheese and sour cream, but that it how I eat my meat chili also.

The good thing about becoming vegetarian, is that I now need to find new things to cook.  It helps me to be more adventurous in the Kitchen, which is definitely something that I want to do.  I have two vegetarian cookbooks that I have only used a little.  if anyone reading this blog has any good recommendations for recipe sites or cookbooks, please let me know.  It's great to experiment, but is also good to know of tried and true recipes, cookbooks or recipe sites.  I had a Moosewood cookbook and I got rid of it.  How stupid. I never thought that I'd ever want to be eating vegetarian dishes.

I'll write more about my trials and tribulations of becoming a vegetarian.  I have a husband and a son that don't seem to have a problem eating meat.  It should be interesting to see if I still feel this way after some time has passed.  I hope that I still eating a mostly vegetarian diet even after time has passed.  I just hope this isn't another one of my failed attempts at doing something healthy and good for me!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eating beef

So, last night, I attempted to eat some beef that I had in the freezer.  It was the first time that I had eaten meat since I watched Food Inc.  I knew that the movie had affected me, but I had no idea how much.  I could barely choke down 1/2 of the small piece that I had.  My husband and son scoffed down theirs, plus my husband ate mine.  I ate my mashed potatoes and my kohlrabi, but even had a hard time with that since I really didn't like eating the beef.  I am pretty much off meat now and have little to no desire to have any.  I will cook it for my husband and the kids, but at the moment, that is it.  I am trying to find any good vegetarian recipes.  Mainly because I have no idea how to eat vegetarian and be healthy, but also because I want to be adventurous and try new things.  I am thinking about maybe going back to work either nights or weekends to help contribute to the family, but really have no desire to do therapy.  Part of me thinks that I would love to do some sort of grass roots community organizing surrounding the whole organic, green, lifestyle, helping people to become more educated about their health and well being!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Going Vegetarian Part 2

I wrote earlier about going vegetarian and at that point in time didn't think that it was something that I could realistically do.  Well, I watched Food Inc. over the weekend and am way more convinced to either go vegetarian or drastically cut my meat intake and start eating grass fed beef and free range chickens.  The biggest problem at this point is that it is so expensive.  We are a family of 5 on a teacher's salary.  Not really conducive to eating that way.  I have certainly cut back on the amount of meat intake that our family eats, now it is time to cut back even more.  I need to start leaning how to incorporate more beans into our dinners.  I think the other reason that I think that I can do the vegetarian thing now is because I have been cooking more things with beans as the main ingredients and I have been loving what I have made.  I am becoming much more adventurous in my eating and cooking and that is a great thing.  I really think that it is important to eat healthy foods and eat foods that are grown/raised in a humane healthy way.  I have 2 vegetarian cookbooks and I also will be visiting more vegetarian websites.  I am also hoping that along with health benefits, there will be benefits to our pockets also.  Along with going vegetarian, I plan to do more with either buying clothes at consignments stores, yard sales, from other twin mom's and using less clothing.  I don't need a closet full of clothes that the kids' won't be able to wear because there is too much. I also want to continue to do more with making my own things instead of buying them at a huge corporate store.  I also want to try to use small stores more than the large stores if I need to buy things (if I can afford it or if possible).  I want to do the whole reduce, re-use, recycle idea more.  This will fit more into my philosophy in life.   I need to actually act on my beliefs, not just have beliefs!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to Basics

I started this blog as a way to get back to being more natural in my every day life.  Through the summer O did really well.  We went to local farms and farmer's markets, then fall came and the farmer's markets closed and we stopped going to the local farms.  We are still doing most of our cooking, but just not always the most healthy recipes.  Not that I want to make New Year's resolutions, but with a new year here, I want to start eating healthier and living healthier.  I am starting a couch to 5K program.  I've only done 2 days so far, but day 3 is today.  I want to start limiting more meat and increasing more vegetables, limiting my grains, breads, sweets, all the nasty carbs and replace them with good carbs ie; green veggies.  I just need to start finding better recipes so that I don't get bored.  I did start my new blog about being creative every day, but it is not going well.  With 3 kids there is only so much time in the day and I already feel like I don't do enough with the kids.  I still want to be as creative as possible as often as possible, but I think every day is too much.  Once the little ones get up from their nap, I am getting them into the car and am going to drive to a farm and if able will go into the farm stand and enjoy being there in the middle of winter.

I am back to basics!