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Sustainable Living

30+ days later

Some weeks have passed since I published any post. It was a conscious choice in order for me to not become overwhelmed with everything I had to deal with (out of which most things were related to my move). I’m now a lot more settled in my new apartment and am loving the cozy green surroundings. During a walk today I even discovered allotment gardens, a park dedicated solely to begonias and a large park with immense old trees growing along a boardwalk. There’s the least to say room for some garden activities. I’m content and super eager to discover and to garden. The last time I wrote was just before day 30 of my veggie challenge. Part of me can’t believe that I actually managed to go through with the challenge, but also of the fact that once I’d been on the diet for about two weeks things came naturally. Since day 30, I have not been completely meat free, but almost. Most weeks have been meat free and the times I’ve eaten meat has been either at a friend’s place where that was the only thing served (we had not seen each other for a while), and atContinue reading

Sustainable Living

Day 29 – The final stretch

Ok, so contrary to my belief, tomorrow is day 30. Time did really fly. Have I learned anything so far? Yes, changing to a plant based diet wasn’t as hard as I’d imagined it to be. A more plant based diet has done wonders to my  stomach as it no longer feels tensed or swollen. Worse part is that I was so used to both of this that I didn’t question it until I started with a plant based diet. I feel like I do want to explore this more, and will have to if I want to prevent my cooking from become routine.   I do understand that a lot of the emails  sent from Muriel was really just a question of persuasion/marketing. I didn’t mind as it was interesting to read about the down side of meat consumption. Speaking of, here’s  another one of Muriel’s interesting tip based on Dr. Melanie Joy’s findings. Be safe!

Sustainable Living

Day 28 – Skip Showers For Beef Movement

Wow! I’m already on day 28 and it feels like time is flying by. Somewhere along the way, a plant based diet became more or less natural. It’s just what I do, and my thinking has become more tailored towards finding plant based food. The other day it actually stroke me that I’ve been telling my friends that I’m on a vegetarian diet, and have been thinking the same thing. But actually, I’ve been doing vegan for almost a month now “Yeeay”. As I treated myself to a vegetarian bimbim Bap which was served with an egg (which I skipped), it hit me that I miss eating fried eggs. Honestly, I thought bacon or lamb would be more of a struggle but it hasn’t.  Even though I miss food seasoned with barbecue spices, it went fine. But fried egg  with salt…that is yum. Anyway, Muriel sent me my daily boost which is basically information on what I’ve saved so far. I’m now up to  5.7 saved animals, 60.5 square meters of saved land, 41.4 kg of CO2 and 36 400 l of water. Speaking of water, Muriel also sent me a clip about the “Skip Showers For Beef Movement“. IContinue reading

Gardening, Sustainable Living

Five Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic while Gardening

With plastic polluting our oceans, air and food, the reduction of plastic use has become a matter of urgency. For a long time, recycling has been praised as a tool for reaching sustainability. However, recent reports reveal that most of the waste we create are hard to recycle, let alone reuse. As urban farmers we are not spared from this and so in this post I’m going to go through some of the ways that lovers of gardening can contribute to reducing plastic waste.   1. Transform your waste into compost We are a part of an ecosystem, and as participants of that ecosystem we can contribute by ” reducing waste, closing the nutrient cycle, and preventing air pollution that causes climate change.” As gardener, we are dependent on fertilizers to grow healthy, strong plants. As we’re constantly create organic waste through the food we eat, or fallen leaves etc., why not make use of all this garbage? Yes, I’m talking about composts. By turning leftover, food scraps and ”garden waste into a nutrient-packed soil additive that plants love ”, you’ll not only reduce the use of plastic (bags, bottles etc.) but also close the nutrient cycle. For advice onContinue reading

Sustainable Living

Day 17/30 – Cheap hacks

  I had to stop writing due to a flue knocking me down and leaving me feeling like my immune system had gone through armageddon. But life is about transitions and this flue was just one of many. So far, I’ve almost saved 3,5 animals. While being sick, I was actually inspired  to write about one of the things I felt would be an obstacle with a plant-based diet. Namely the high price. As a full time student, with a small extra income a vegetarian diet seemed like a luxury to me. Coupled with the high prices for vegetarian (back in those days there weren’t that many alternatives to choose from) products such as the Quorn products or tofu, I felt like this was not something my personal budget could not afford at the time. Also, many vegetarian restaurants may have charged a lot for meals that were far from filling. Add to that the fact that many ecological products at times are very expensive, a plant-based diet seemed like something I had to put off until better times. But then I went back to my old neighbourhood where I grew up and found that veggies were quite cheap there.Continue reading

Uncategorized

Day 7/30 – The aftermath of too much yeast extract

Yesterday, I decided to give another try. I’ve been skeptical about soy products (though many of the things I eat contain some residue of it) because of reading some not so nice things about it. My concerns have been the fact that soybeans are cultivated on former forests. After an email conversation about Muriel and an article, I was convinced that it’s since the main negative side of soy farming was the meat production (cattle being fed soy). I therefore gave it a try and followed the instructions sent to me on preparing tofu. The recipe I chose was with mango chutney, ginger, garlic, orange peels and orange juice. To give it my own touch I added a bit of coriander and Marmite yeast extract. I’ve had this extract for some time and having last year’s memory of a serious vitamin B12 deficiency, I decided that a teaspoon of yeast extract could only add benefits to an already delicious dish. This is the part where I advise you to not to this at home unless you’re preparing a stew or some other dish for maybe 4-6 persons.   The meal turned out fine (just a bit umami on the flavourContinue reading

Wisdom Cookies

The story about the two islands

Once upon a time there were two islands in the sea. According to legends, there had previously been a third island nearby, but it had sunken into the sea a long time ago. On the big island there lived rich and poor, gentlemen and servants, and there existed a marketplace where seashells were used as currency. Here there is always a shortage of time, the people get up early to work and do not tolerate laziness or too much comfort. On the small island there are neither servants nor gentlemen and no striving to become rich. Everything on the island is shared collectively with no ownership. There is time to have fun and live a quiet, comfortable life. One day, the impatient king of the big island decides to make the island even richer and more magnificent. The work gets underway, but as resources diminish, the small island’s “unused” resources are exploited. An ancient red stone stands on the large island with engravings warning the coming generation: “When the stone drops, the people of the sea have violated the laws of life and the islands are to perish”. The stone obviously starts to sink … In a panic, the citizensContinue reading

Food, Recipe, Sustainable Living

Day 6/30 – Dealing with a Setback

  Hey there! I’m doing a bit of jump for this post because my weekend was filled celebration. On Friday my girls and I celebrated the youngest member in our crew getting accepted into a course in Warsaw, aimed at strengthening young people’s capacity to lead work against racism. On Saturday, I was invited to a Congolese wedding, and in between everything I was trying to take care of my fatigue after a hectic week. The writing therefore, was put on hold. Until yesterday I felt like I’d started to settle in the challenge. BUT, realising that I was going to a wedding without giving my friend a heads up about my new diet, I decided to just eat whatever was served. Basically, I would allow myself to eat meat if that’s what was being served. The gremlins in my head had one or two things to say about this, but I was going to treat myself with kindness and just pick up where I left from the next day. This was easy because the atmosphere of love and joy at the wedding silenced my gremlins. Moving on, my coach emailed me an article on 10 easy packed lunch ideasContinue reading

Sustainable Living

Day 3/30 – Getting into the habit

Day 3 went like smooth sailing. I had overnight oats for breakfast with liverwurst toast and juice, for lunch I had a zucchini and carrot soup while dinner consisted of stuffed eggplants with rice. I should’ve mentioned it earlier maybe but I’m in the process of moving and have surges of stress even though I, as of today, have packed most things. I guess it’s the clutter that results from having a bunch of boxes, bags etc. everywhere that contributes to the feeling of being overwhelmed. On top of everything I have an acceptance celebration and a wedding to attend in two days (how the hell did I get here?). I miss my slow mornings with meditation, yoga and reading insightful quotes. But…this too shall pass. Throughout the day my thoughts kept wandering to the rainforests of the world. See the day after I’d published the post about my 30 day veggie challenge, a video on”kenyans.eu” (YouTube) showed that actually the amount of forests fires in the southern regions of Africa actually exceeds that in Brazil. According to BBC “Angola and DR Congo ‘have more blazes” (klick on BBC for more info). Having ranked the amount of forest fires byContinue reading

Sustainable Living

Day 2/30

So I did my pantry refilling on day one. By the way, adding habanero instead of less spicy chili fruits to the Bell Pepper Soup is not for the faint of hearts. On top of that, I ate the soup with a vegetarian spicy sausage. We all have moments when we say to ourselves “the hell was I thinking?”, eating the soup was one of mine. My concerns for having to do a lot of thinking in terms of finding alternatives for dairy and meat proved unnecessary (although many alternatives can be very expensive for a tight budget). I bought some tempeh and decided to give tofu a try though I’m skeptical about eating it (will tell you why later this week). Also, to my surpirse I easily found two affordable sandwich toppings, baba ganouch and liverwurst (yes we eat that for breakfast here in Sweden). All and all day two went well. For breakfast I had two toasts with baba ganouch, juice and a banana. My chick pea snack helped with between meals cravings, while dinner consisted of fruit bread with liverwurst (long day). I was simply to tired to do the guacamole recipe that Muriel suggested, but IContinue reading