If you haven't watched The Story of Stuff yet please take the 20 minutes and watch it now...it is a fascinating, entertaining and eye opening piece about consumption in our society and how we can make a difference.
Now...I promise I won't go all preachy on you :-) That's not my style! But what I do want to do is share some of the changes I am making, contemplating and planning in the near future.
- I am going to go vegetarian and cut out most dairy - I personally abhor the industrial agricultural system. I think it horrifically abuses animals, introduces far too many antibiotics and pesticides into our food system, and pollutes the environment. (Watch Food, Inc. if you haven't yet for more info on this!) I am not opposed to eating meat, but I do feel that the meat, dairy and eggs should come from local, humane, small farm operations. However, that is expensive and I just don't have the budget for it on a regular basis. So I am going back to an idea that meat is for special occasions and maybe once a month or so treat myself to an organic chicken or roast and savor it and use every bit of it I can. The rest of the time, vegetarian with some local eggs but no dairy because it really seems to not settle well with my system and it is waaaaaay too easy for me to go wacky on cheese!
- I am going to try not to buy anything that I don't need, and anything I do need I will attempt to find used at thrift stores, on Freecycle or will make them. I have my basic items already in place. Smoe "nice to have" things like a bookcase, bathroom rug, living room table, glass jars, etc. I can try to find on Freecycle or in a thriftstore and things like washcloths or new fashion scarfs I have BAGS full of yarn in my closet and I can knit or crochet myself! But by doing my part to avoid introducing new items into the system I will save money and the environment.
- Ok, now this one may sound a little weird - but I am giving up shampoo. I have done a LOT of research on this as I was coming to the end of my shampoo bottle. Shampoo is simply not necessary for healthy, CLEAN hair! Modern shampoo is actually more of a detergent that strips your hair of the healthy oils it needs which then have to be replaced with other products. By going shampoo free and cleaning your hair once or twice a week with a baking soda/water mixture and then following with an apple cider vinegar/water rinse your hair not only won't get greasy and disgusting, it will actually get healthier and more manageable. So, I am embarking on a 1 month experiment to see how it goes...so far 3 days in all I have done to my hair is do a good warm water rinse with a scalp massage to loosen up any dirt and such and honestly, my hair looks great! All the product is out of it, it doesn't look greasy at all, it is holding a style without any fuss, and my hair color doesn't seem to be fading as fast as normal. They say it takes from 2-6 weeks for your hair to really adjust and not overproduce oil to make up for being stripped by the shampoo, so let's see how it goes!
Now, in the meantime while I am slowly transitioning to vegetarian I decided I just can't be wasteful and throw out or give away the meat I already have in my freezer so I am cooking it, one piece a week, and using it for dinners. So I have to share the AMAZING beef roast/stew I made in my crockpot this weekend!!
Again, not much on an official recipe, but I had a 2 lb. beef chuck roast that I put in a crockpot along with a bag of baby carrots, about 6 chopped up potatoes, 2 chopped onions, 1/2 bottle of red wine, about 2 cups of water and seasoned with rosemary, garlic and (the secret ingredient) 3 cinnamon sticks. Cooked on high for about 6 hrs - could do it on low too for 8-9 hrs, but I started it late in the day. Holy Cow was this amazing!!! The cinnamon was unexpected but really made it pop!! I took the roast out, shredded it, put the potatoes and carrots in another container and will eat on it for dinners all week with the broth to make it a stew.P.S. I am attempting to attach a picture of this fabulous creation but Picasa and Blogger are giving me trouble so it will have to go picture free for the time being...I will upload one when I get a chance if possible :-)