Tag Archives: go green

The Great Debate?

Good evening, ladies and gentleman.  I sit before you tonight as I am watching the President’s Address from the Oval Office. 

I feel very much like a grown up 😉

DSC03185

I’m not an expert, but it does sounds like they have a pretty thorough plan in place.  I hope that those responsible pay for their actions, that we get this under control quickly, and that America learns a valuable lesson from this horrendous manmade disaster.

I completely agree with Obama as he pleads with Americans to dissipate our addiction to fossil fuels.  Like he said, at one time, we believed it was impossible to send a man to the moon.  I would like to know how it is possible that we can send a man to the moon, but that we haven’t yet found a way to create a system that includes greater access to public transportation, safe bike lanes and sidewalks, a more safe and sustainable food industry, and homes and businesses that rely heavily on renewable energy sources?

I’m not sure that my individual actions will be able to make any drastic changes, but I do know that all small actions can add up to make great differences. 

Here are a list of ways you can make smarter food choices to help reduce your reliance on fossil fuels as listed by Sustainable Table.org

What You Can Do

  • Buy foods grown locally. The equation is simple: the closer the farm is to you, the less fuel is needed to transport its food to your table. You can find local foods through our Eat Well Guide by visiting a local farmers market, or by joining a food co-op or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. See our Shop Sustainable page for more information. And while you’re at it, ask your grocery store to supply locally grown produce.
  • Want to have lettuce that’s truly local? Plant a garden and grow your own fresh produce!
  • Avoid purchasing processed foods. These foods take more energy to produce (and have less nutritional value than whole foods). In addition, choose foods with minimal packaging. This reduces the energy used to produce the packaging and eliminates these materials from the waste stream.
  • Cut back on meat. As much as Americans love to eat it, meat is the least fuel-efficient food we have. Large quantities of energy are required to cultivate, harvest, and ship animal feed, house, transport and slaughter animals, process and package their meat, and refrigerate it until it’s cooked.

[Source]

It is not my intention to create a great political debate here, but I do hope that these recent events have made you somewhat question how humans are impacting the Earth, and how this may be impacting our overall health. 

Have you ever wondered if there was a direct correlation between our higher dependency on oil in the past few decades to the rise in American obesity rates?  Could it be that driving everywhere instead of walking or riding bikes made a difference?  How about our ability to access highly processed foods that are manufactured thousands of miles from our homes and shipped by planes and trucks to local grocery stores? 

This very small post on HH,HM will not save the thousands of plants and animals affected in the Gulf’s precious ecosystems, but I do hope that this tragedy will make more people stop and think about the choices they make every day. 

What can you do to make healthier choices and lessen your dependency on fossil fuels?  What are you already doing?

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Meat? What Meat?

Today is one of those curl up on the couch and veg kind of days.  The sky is grey and gloomy.  The air is damp.  And it is c-o-l-d, cold.  Quite the contrast to last week’s 90 degree days.

DSC02435  

I don’t mind days like these occasionally.  It feels great to put on a warm pair of fleece pants and a sweatshirt to just lounge around.  It kinda gives you a good excuse for being a little lazy 😉

I thought I’d dedicate this post to (hear me out before you ‘x’ out) meatless meals.

In past posts, I have described the benefits of going meatless for the environment,your health, and your wallet.  While I am not pushing anyone to give up meat, I want to provide a resource for those people who would like to reduce the amount of meat they consume, or for those who would like to become vegetarian.

A friend’s daughter has recently made the decision to go vegetarian.  We have had a few conversations about what she is eating, and how it’s hard to accommodate meat eaters and vegetarians under the same roof! 

For me, the first month of not eating meat was difficult.  It took a lot of research and cookbooks to find a meat free diet that was friendly for me and provided all of the necessary nutrients and vitamins.  I remember wishing there was a  go-to guide for vegetarian meal transformations.

So, here is a little table that lists meals with meat and how I make them meatless. 

 

Meat Meal

Go Meatless

Steak and potatoes

 

Marinade and grill portabella mushroom caps just as you would the steak.  The meatiness of portabellas make them wonderful replacements for most meat dishes.

Beef Tacos

Either find a veggie crumble like LightLife Original Smart Grounds and prepare filler as you would beef tacos.

~or~

Use black beans and brown rice cooked with part water, part salsa as a filler.  Sprinkle with cheese and top with sour cream.

Beef Burritos

Lightlife Original Smart Grounds work here also.

~or~

Make Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos.

~or~

Sautee mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions, and any other veggie fillers you like.

Burgers and Fries

Burgers Made from Real Veggies

~or~

Black Bean Burgers

Chicken or Steak Stir Fry

Dry Fry Tofu and add to rice and veggie mixture.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Again ground crumbles work well here, but you could also try Veggie Spaghetti

~or~

Angela’s ‘Neat’ Sauce

Salads with chicken, beef, fish, etc.

Add beans such as garbanzo, kidney, or black.

Halupkies or Stuffed Peppers

Use Vegetarian Halupki filler.

Deli Sandwich

Stuff bread with hummus, sprouts, and your favorite veggies

 

This is just a very small list of possibilities.  I always keep portabella mushrooms, beans, tofu, frozen black bean burgers, Morning Star “Chik’n” Patties, and Morning Star Sausage Links handy as meat replacements.  Quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, spinach, and other leafy greens are also pantry staples in my kitchen.  By simply adding tons of grilled, sautéed or steamed veggies  you can transform any meal to a meatless masterpiece.

If you have any recipes you would like help transforming, please send an email at JenSanders52 at comcast dot net, and I’ll see what I can do 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Earth Day 2010!

Today, in celebration of Earth Day 2010, I spent the day in a forest with 125 third graders and many of their parents.

DSC01909

We cored trees to see how old they were, we tramped through the swamp, and we saw how human activities have an impact on our waters.  We saw HUGE fish and small fish and some in between.  We lounged in hammocks to see the forest from a different perspective, and sorted animal skins, called pelts, into categories based on their diet. 

In a day and age when many believe that Earth Day has become commercialized and “too corporate,” I was actually able to spend the day in a long embrace with Mother Nature herself

DSC01911

DSC01920

DSC01929

It was a spectacularly beautiful day!

I’ve known for a while now to recycle, to change my light bulbs to CFLs, to carpool, and to shut the water off when I brush my teeth.  But I recently read a fact that both stunned and saddened me.

“Global livestock production is responsible for about one-fifth of all greenhouse gases—more than transportation.” [Source]

In his book Food Matters, Mark Bittman reports that “60 BILLION animals are raised each year for food—10 animals for every human on Earth.”  This trend is also rapidly increasing as the demand for meat increases.  Our planet can not sustain this kind of abuse.  Think of all the chemicals, waste, and land that is used to maintain these farms!

The introduction of Factory Farming has impacted our climate as well as our health.  There is a direct relationship between the amount of meat produced, and consumed, in the United States to the rise in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer rates. 

      

In many countries considered to be “healthier” because their culture follows a more traditional diet (think Mediterranean, Asian, etc.), meat is treated as a side, not as the main course.  What if every American ate just a little less meat and dairy?

Notice that I used bold, italics, and underlining in the phrase " a little less.”  I’m not saying people should go vegetarian or vegan.  That is a very personal decision.

I’m just wondering what the impact would be if we just ate a little less meat each week.  Maybe have Meatless Mondays or Vegan Wednesdays??  Could we reverse and control the impact of livestock production on our environment?  Could we improve the health crisis in American?    

Links of Possible Interest:

What’s your carbon footprint?

Putting Meat Back in its Place– New York Times

Less Meat = Less Heat– CNN on YouTube

Lean Plate Club– Washington Post

Want to Go Green? Eat Less Meat

Just a little food for thought! 

I hope you were able to get out and celebrate today! 🙂 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized