I have been eating since I was born. I am a total natural at this one.
Luckily for the Day 4 challenge, feeding ourselves more wholesomely is where we’ve already made the biggest investment in sustainable living. Honestly the more we do in this area the more we want to do.
“Sustainable eating” has got to be one of the best places for people to start their own No Impact challenge because of the instant gratification and how it leads to other cool changes. I love spending time with my family cooking and shopping at the farmers market. From the love of cooking, eating and hanging out together we started our home gardening projects and then it was a no-brainer to compost. This became the catalyst to stop using chemicals in our yard. It’s funny how your views on chemicals can change when you actually see the food go from the ground to your own plate.
When we started preparing more of our own foods, like Kimchi and Kombucha, we needed lots of containers. Store bought containers are expensive, which lead us to start purchasing food items in easily reusable containers. Amazingly a lot of organic food from [your favorite places] comes in containers that are almost impossible to recycle, like certain plastic coated cardboard juice cartons.
Several years ago we were lead to the inevitable raw cook book and now have a small library. One of my favorite raw recipes is Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna (with basil-pistachio pesto, tomato sauce, and pignoli ricotta), from Raw Food Real World, by Sarma Mengailis. OMg my mouth is watering just typing it. This is not only my favorite raw recipe, and my favorite vegan recipe, it’s one of my all time favorite things to eat.
This whole process makes us constantly think about our food and the food chain in new ways, and rethink what we’re doing and buying. If you don’t buy junk, you won’t have junk at home to eat. And when I’m constantly surrounded by easy to make, healthy food, I am so less likely to eat poorly. The key for me is staying full – if I don’t prepare ahead of time I will likely buy something bad to avoid collapsing in a sugar crash.
For the last two months I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast, sweetened with (zero calorie, all herbal sweetener) Stevia and half a banana. We used enough Stevia over the last year that it made sense to buy a Stevia plant that’s planted near our back door and quite bushy. The morning routine is to snip a sprig and add the leaves and the banana to a blender, then right in the organic oatmeal with hot water – instant sweet and tasty breakfast. Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, supposedly lowers your cholesterol, and Stevia is purported to balance blood sugar. Oatmeal for breakfast helps me make it to lunch without starving. Last night we read that most organic oatmeal is precooked. Our next goal is to switch to totally raw oatmeal, which is prepared simply by soaking in water overnight. BONUS is that with light exercise and adding breakfast back to my diet I’ve lost 9 pounds. That means there are a bunch of nice clothes in my closet that fit again.
I went the whole day without meat so far (and it’s nearly 10am) but our biggest project is that we’ve committed to start learning more about sprouting. Basic sprouting is pretty simple, and we’re already doing that, but apparently with a little bit of wisdom you can dramatically increase the quantity and quality of your sprouts. For more info click the Sprout People link on our blogroll.
If you are on the fence about sustainable eating then grab some non-GMO organic popcorn and cozy up on the couch with some videos. I love Netflix Watch Instant streaming. Since we completely dropped cable it’s the best EIGHT DOLLAR monthly investment for online education and entertainment. Both of these documentaries are available to Watch Instant. If you haven’t done any research in this area already these documentaries might profoundly change your mind about the urgency of some of your choices for your health and the ethics around our purchase decisions.
Overall, sustainable eating can lead to:
- More time together with people you love
- Learning new skills, like cooking and raw food preparation
- Buying locally and trips to the Farmers Market – this has side benefits like reducing animal cruelty from factory farming
- Organic gardening and composting
- Eliminating the use of chemicals in your own yard
- Reducing waste from food containers
- Lowering your food bill and greatly improving food quality
- Lowering your cholesterol, losing weight, adding vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals to your diet
So if you can’t get behind stopping animal cruelty, and you don’t see the need to restrict factory farming, reduce pollution, or spend time with people you love, you’re still left with looking at eating better for self preservation – that was the kicker for me.
Hey, there’s really something for everyone.