Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 37

Oh boy, we're way over our weekly goal of 20 plastic disposed items this week! Some of the items below were the results of birthday gifts, which couldn't be avoided, some of them (like mascara) only go on this list once or twice a year, and some of them (seal from glass omega 3 bottle or peanut butter jar) are an improvement on the status quo. Nonetheless, I still am way over my goal.

1. Omega 3 bottle
2. Mascara tube & wrapper from new one
3. Hair conditioner tube
4. Hair product bottle
5. 2 Baking mix bags
6. 2 Salad tubs
7. Stickers from fruit & veggies
8. Green bean bag
9. Carrot bag
10. 3 Chip bags
11. 2 Pasta bags
12. 4 Restaurant straws
13. Label & seal to soy sauce bottle
14. Emergen-C packets
15. Seal around jar of greens+
16. Plug from wheel off of bed frame
17. Pull tab from bottle of sesame oil
18. Lululemon package & tag
19. 2 Tetley canister lids
20. Styrofoam to-go container
21. Seal around package of containers for Christmas baking
22. Seal around glass bottle of fish oil
23. Coconut yogurt container
24. Bread bag & tag
25. Seal from jar of peanut butter
26. Bent bed frame wheel
27. Plastic bag from bouquet of flowers
28. 4 small candy wrappers
29. Pull tab from carton of almond milk

We have an embarassing amount of tea stocked in our kitchen and are working diligently to go through it before buying any more (let me go put the kettle on!). We managed to empty out two containers of it this week! Once we get down to a managable amount, we'll be buying without so much plastic (sorry Tetley).

This week is supposed to be looking more like a health kick kind of week than a 3 chip bags kinda week, as we break into the last two weeks before we head home for Christmas. What can we do differently next week?

-The candy wrappers are from the advent calendar we have going. The candies are old and need to be used up anyways. Some of them are restaurant mints!
-We'll be baking bread this week rather than buying (but we do have a loaf on the go right now) along with lots of other treats coming out of the oven!
-The emergen-c packets will likely make another appearance since we're trying to ramp up our immune systems before the big stress-fest (but what you didn't see was the box of organic mandarins we went through!)
-I'll be popping in to Lush this week to pick up another pot of conditioner for my hair. When you return 5 of their black pots, you get a fresh face mask! Plus, they reuse the pots, so no plastic goes in the garbage!
-We have a bag of tortilla chips were trying to use up before we leave, but that should be the last bag of chips until the big departure day!
-We bought a big jug (plastic, yes) of gluten free tamari rather than buying a small bottle every month or so. Maybe once we go through it (it wont be for awhile!) we can reuse the jug for something!

Speaking of reusing plastic bottles... Here is the bag of empties were taking with us on our visit to The Earth's General Store in Edmonton. We'll stock up on concentrated vinegar (for laundry) and anything else that catches our eye. They always take extra bottles for people who forget theirs, or it's their first time at the store. I didn't bring a bottle the first time I visited & I still have the 'donated' bottle half full of toilet bowl cleaner in the bathroom! Cleaning supplies in bulk- I don't know why this hasn't caught on elsewhere. Or maybe it has, but just not here? They also offer hair care & other personal care products, dishwashing & laundry soaps and lots of other cleaning products (such as the aforementioned concentrated vinegar & toilet bowl cleaner) including baking soda & borax.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: November 30th, 2011

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of What I Ate Wednesday c/o Jenn at Peas & Crayons! Unlike all the rest of the beautiful food bloggers out there, I lacked greatly in putting together a proper meal, but here's what my day looked like anyways:

1 oz walnuts
organic mandarin orange

homemade cranberry applesauce

quinoa crunch cupcake muffin

jalapeno havarti cheese

quinoa with gluten free soy sauce

I also had some stirfry veggies sauteed in garlic butter with prawns for dinner... Do you ever have those days where incessant snacking gets the best of you?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 36

I hope all of my American readers had a fantastic Thanksgiving this past weekend! While we did cook a turkey this week (Tuesday) it wasn't any sort of celebratory bird. We managed a turkey dinner with the only plastic being the bag that the turkey came in. This wasn't any huge dinner for extended family mind you, just mashed potatoes & Brussels sprouts accompanying the bird, but it was sure good! Here's what else we racked up this week:

1. Turkey bag
2. 2 Daiya bags
3. Chocolate bar wrapper
4. Garbage bag (not shown)
5. Stickers on fruit
6. Pancake mix bag
7. Battery package (for garage door opener)
8. Light bulb package
9. Realfruit gummies bag
10. Pull tab from carton of almond milk
11. 3 Drink sample packets
12. Gluten free flour bag
13. Pasta bag
14. Packaging from 2 cell phone cases
15. Shipping bag cell phone cases came in
16. 2 cell phone screen protector accessories (not shown)
17. Mailer envelope
18. Sour cream container
19. Dead turkey baster
20. Envelope containing Christmas gift tags

Yep that's right... the Christmas plastic is creeping into the weekly tally already.  And (regrettably) there's more to come. For whatever reason, I have enough tape to wrap gifts for the rest of my life. Actually. 

We've finally gotten around to accessorizing our new iphones that we bought last week. I feel that something that contains my whole life deserves some protection. We chose Bioserie cases which are made out of Ingeo; a biodegradable plastic based on plant sugars rather than petrochemicals. We also purchased InvisibleSHIELD for the screens, as we had them on our last phones and were happy with their performance. I would much rather "consume" the plastic to protect the device now than to have to buy a new one sooner because it needed to be replaced. There are much worse ingredients in a cell phone than plastic, but we'll save that chat for another day...

How are you planning on keeping your holiday plastic to a minimum?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yoga November: Part 2

Sadly the second half of my month looks worse than the first half did... Note to self: don't try to do a daily challenge anywhere near Christmas in future. While there are lots of people just jumping into Christmas now that it's officially December, we were definitely one of the ones with the tree up three weeks ago. Yes, three weeks ago. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

16. 10 minute yoga for abs video
17. 60 minute hatha class
18. fail
19. fail
20. 60 minute moksha class
21. 60 minute core class
22. 90 minute hot class
23. 10 minute abs video
24. 60 minute hatha class
25. fail
26. 75 minute yin class
27. fail
28. fail
29. fail
30. 60 minute yogaworks class

It seems that I always fall off the bandwagon close to the end of any sort of challenge that I do...

I guess I can chalk this up to a learning experience if nothing else. Mr.C has taken notice that I am a considerable calmer person when I am practicing regularly, and I can't help but agree. My work schedule doesn't have any sort of routine to it, so it is difficult for me to always work some "me time" into my days (but I certainly try!). I'll be spending the next 18 days (until we leave on our 12 days of Christmas journey) gearing up for (and calming down for) a few thousand kilometers on my car paired with lots of eating, drinking & being merry.

Between the 1st & 17th of December my goals are to:
-eat salad every day
-practice yoga as much as my schedule allows
-consume no alcohol
-take my vitamins every day

This is in addition to the gigantic list of Christmas "to-do's" already in existance including baking & shopping among others. I am confident that I will be as prepared physically and emotionally/mentally for this hectic Christmas by the time we walk out the door on the morning of the 18th.

What kind of stresses do you face over the holidays and how do you deal with them?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: November 16th, 2011

Guess what... WIAW time again! Now usually I post "What I Ate Wednesday" on Wednesday, when it's actually from Tuesday. But this week I forgot. Tuesday was pretty ugly to be honest, you didn't want to see it anyways. So here it is: What I Ate Wednesday in it's true form!

Sweaty hot yoga hair from last night paired with a hairbrush that is very mysteriously missing lead to an early morning trip to the drugstore to get a new one. I managed without it yesterday, but it's not happening more than once. Needless to say, my morning was rushed. But as per my plans, eating something was a priority.

Without further ado, from the back of the Magic Bullet "10 Second Recipes" Cookbook, I bring you Breakfast: 1 small organic banana, 1/4 cup organic blueberries, 1 scoop Progressive chocolate protein powder, ice, 1/2 cup goat milk

oh yeah, and I took my vitamins too!

I took the last of my walnuts with me to work to snack on...

And the last piece of my citrus cheesecake from my birthday LAST YEAR (my birthday's this month, so I figured I had to polish it off before a whole year had elapsed!)

Oh yeah, and that's a glass of eggnog... As far as mother nature is concerned, 
Christmas is heeeeeere!

 Yes this was actually today.

Dinner was a stirfry with chicken, carrots, broccoli, celery, bamboo shoots & red pepper mixed in with brown rice and a modified black bean sauce.

After dinner I had a bit of bruschetta goat cheese wrapped in the last of the schinkenspeck we bought from our deli on the weekend. So tasty!

I was still munchy and a fierce sweet tooth crept up on me later in the evening. Luckily I had some dried fruit stashed away! A few apricots & banana chips later I was satisfied.

Oh yeah, and this too... plus another round of vitamins- Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 34

I sort of feel like I'm banging my head against the wall these past few months because my plastic list still looks like this.

On the upside, I noticed this weekend that there is someone who returns the rings around the glass milk jugs along with the lids. I will join that someone. Also, I've decided that yogurt isn't going to continue to be a regular purchase around here (which it has become lately). And at this point I feel like I have cleaned out just about every nook & cranny of the house of old plastic that we no longer have a use for. Except Mr.C's office. And the Christmas stuff... coming soon.

1. Fruit gummies bag (from camping)
2. Lid to (glass) hot sauce bottle
3. Furnace filter bag
4. Stickers on fruit & veggies
5. Seal from glass jug of goat's milk
6. Bandaids & wrappers
7. Dish sponge past its prime
8. Stew bison meat package
9. Old shampoo bottle (intended to be reused as part of a bunny halloween costume)
10. Old food container & 2 lids no longer with a mate
11. 3 Yogurt containers
12. Udi's bread bag
13. 2 fresh herb packages
14. Seal around new container of protein powder
15. 1 vitamin bottle & 3 lids
16. Seal around glass jar of peanut butter
17. Homemade tamales package
18. Salad tub
19. Green bean bag
20. Fedex bag
21. Plastic bag containing items in the Fedex bag
22. Card envelope
23. Straightening iron package (free w.hairdryer)
24. New hairdryer packaging
25. Dead hairdryer (what do I do with this?!?)
26. Smoked salmon package
27. Sticker backing for freezer labels
28. Tortellini package
29. Plastic packaging from fruitcake
30. Olive oil pull tab

A refresher however on what we have omitted from our lives since February:
Packaged Mushrooms, Plastic Toothbrushes, Coconut Milk (packaged in plastic), Processed/Prepared Foodstuffs (ie dumpkings, perogies, spring rolls, tortellini etc.), Packaged Fish, Annie Chun's Seaweed Snacks, Tubed Polenta, Jell-o Cups, Avocado oil (in plastic), Ziploc bags (new), Plastic coated picture hanging wire, Alfalfa sprouts, Packaged fudge, Gnocchi, Baking powder, Replacement laptop cord (hopefully!), Bagged frozen veggies, Individually wrapped candy, Peanut Butter (in plastic jars), Cooking spray, Spices packaged in plastic, Pre-packaged lunch meat, Plastic salad dressing bottles, Instant noodles, Prepackaged granola bars, Plastic unrefillable spice grinders, Coconut milk fudgesicles, Dairy Queen, Citrus in bags, RealLime & RealLemon juice, Honey Bunny ketchup or their other sauces (unless their packaging changes), Bean sprouts (unless sold bulk), Starbucks (unless in a travel mug)

Turns out we bought packaged fish without even realizing that we gave it up last month. Whoops. I think this means that I need to keep a copy of this list on my iphone for grocery shopping reference. I didn't even think of smoked salmon when we gave up packaged fish actually...

But hey, I'm being honest, because I'm only letting myself down here. And I know- I'm not perfect. I know that we have some "individually wrapped candy" in the house from who knows how long ago (and a stash of emergency oh henry's in the car from last Halloween) and really, I didn't need to take the free straight iron that came with my new hairdryer that I bought this week. But in real life I did. I don't always take the freebee, but sometimes I do. That cliche saying about things in moderation.... yeah, that.

What I Ate Wednesday: November 9th, 2011

Howdy WIAWers! Go visit Peas and Crayons to get the scoop & join in on this! Here's how things are looking in my life:

I polished off the last of my Liberte Organic Vanilla yogurt for breakfast & grabbed a pile of carrots & homemade applesauce on the way out the door this "morning" (around 11:00) to take with me to work. I had planned on having a Westcoast Prawn Salad for lunch, but sadly it didn't end up happening. It's my fave!

Sweder Road, is only about 20 minutes out of town!

By the time I got home around 5:00 my bloodsugar was crashing & I was starving (I was looking forward to dinner & trying not to spoil my appetite!). I made some bad choices and had some Dare RealFruit Gummies, a chunk of creamy havarti cheese & a handful of walnuts. But it wasn't enough, I had to get going on dinner!

When we did up our meal plan for this week last Friday, we scheduled in Fish & Chips for tonight since there was a piece of halibut burning a hole in our freezer (?) So we did it up! And then I went to hot yoga to burn it all off, which ended up being a bad idea let me tell ya. It was rough. No eating (in at least the hour & a half) before yoga! Especially greasy foods like this...

Yoga November: How are we doing?

Hey yogi's, how is your Yoga November practice going so far? We're half way through the month already, can you believe it! Here's what I've been up to:

1. 90 minute hot vinyasa class
2. fail
3. 60 minute vinyasa class
4. 10 minute yoga for abs video
5. 75 minute yin class
6. 20 minute "hips, buns & thighs" yoga video
7. 22 minute cardio yoga video
8. 90 minute hot vinyasa class
9. fail
10. 10 minute yoga for abs video
11. This 17 minute yoga workout
12. 75 minute yin class
13. fail
14. fail
15. 90 minute hot vinyasa class

Okay, so everyone's not perfect, especially me. And sometimes life happens. On the second day of a month long challenge life happens. Go figure. But here's what's going on that's halted my previously driven effort to succeed at my own self appointed challenge: Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I'll admit I've been slacking on my vitamins lately... okay for the last year or three. I used to be so good and couldn't for the life of me understand how someone could just not get it. And now that's me. Last winter was harsh, and this one's not off to a great start so far so I'm really going to have to step it up a notch. I know from experience that getting enough vitamin D into my body on these short, dark winter days does make a difference in how I feel. I'm just going to have to make it happen.

Exercise is another extremely helpful "coping mechanism" when it comes to S.A.D. and I am trying to make it to every class that my work schedule permits (hope to be seeing you at ChinookYoga soon!). I had a "yoga date" tonight with a friend from work, and her unlimited monthly membership paired with mine should make for a serious amount of endorphin inducing sweaty fun!

I have noticed a general reduction in having any interest in anything lately as well, which is leading me to not really want to do anything. Which in the workplace or when it comes to keeping the house tidy can be perceived in a very negative manner. Oh, and did I mention that I had a nap on Saturday and Sunday this weekend? Classic symptoms...

This is actually more of "angry" because we took a 120km detour

Craving carbs (yes, even homemade granola bars) is a biggie!

So the plan is to:
-Keep up with my yoga challenge; I committed myself to this 2 weeks ago, there's no quitting now!
-I'd love to get running again, but outside is out of the question. I need to find me a treadmill
-Set regular reminders on my iphone regarding vitamin taking
-Try to create a regular schedule despite shifts being all over the map. At the very least I'd like to be in bed by midnight every night
-Use my iphone to accomplish things on my "to-do" list (v.s. losing the paper list that I have made in past) I have a serious amount of dishes & vacuuming to do!
-Yesterday I started a list of "Things That Make Me Happy" and I'm adding a bit to it every day. Focus on the positive, people!
-Maintain weekly meal planning & stick to it (not doing so great with that last part lately)
-Possibly start light therapy, but I'd like to get on board with the above strategies first

I would love to hear about your SAD or depression stories. You're not alone!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bonus Round: A Secret Stash of Kristin Approved Recipes!

I've come across a handful of amazing recipes in the last few months that I'm starting to feel guilty about not sharing with you. Christmas came early for you this year!

Green Beans, Potatoes & Spinach in Coconut Curry

Seafood Chowder

Mexican Rice Casserole

Roasted Eggplant Tapenade

Thai Red Curry w.Chicken on black rice

Raspberries & Sour Cream

Zucchini Cheese Pancakes

Perfect Bread

Taco Seasoning

Chimichurri Sauce

Zucchini Baked Eggs

Spicy Roasted Chicken Thighs with Miso and Ginger

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage

Braised Short Ribs

Turkish Lamb (Bison) Stew

Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs

Boy that made me hungry!

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 33

We hit 20 items on our list on Tuesday this week. Can you tell we just finished the October Unprocessed challenge & binged this week? Not that it's all "binge food"... I spent some time this week going through our "bulk" pantry stuff & pouring the last of various bags of stuff into their proper containers. Damn you Costco for selling packaged quinoa for half the price than I can get it in the bulk bins for...

1. Salad tub
2. 2 Chip bags
3. Digestive enzyme bottle
4. Tortellini container
5. Olive oil carton pull tab
6. Soy sauce label & lid (jar is glass)
7. Seal from bottle of peppercorns
8. Packages from jack-o-lantern carving kit
9. 2 Cheese wrappers
10. Bandaids & wrappers
11. Chicken package
12. Pancake mix bag
13. 2 Yogurt containers
14. 2 Pasta bags
15. Pull tab from carton of chocolate almond milk
16. Fruitcake wrapper (from last year!)
17. Sushi to-go container
18. Package from stypic pencil (for shaving)
19. Stickers from fruit & veggies
20. Truwhip container seal
21. Protein powder container
22. Quinoa bag
23. Deli meat bag
24. Lid to giant container of nuts
25. Cane sugar bag
26. Printer ink cartridge package
27. 2 rechargable battery packages
28. Tag from pineapple
29. Mushroom container
30. Empty pen
31. 3 Restaurant straws (not shown)

On a related note we're on our last garbage bag (from an old stash) and have no back up plan whatsoever. I'm not terribly thrilled at the idea of having to buy plastic bags for the purpose of throwing them in the garbage, but we're getting mighty close to not having a choice. I've bought the biodegradable ones before, but have since learned that they don't break down anyways. Not in landfill conditions at least. We're not yet at a point where we can do without, although we often use things like chip bags from our weekly plastic stash as garbage bags.

All that stuff compacted into this!

I keep all of my vegetable scraps for making stock and compost the rest, but compost season is coming to a close for us. What you can't see in this weeks picture is that the backyard beyond the blinds is covered in our first snow of the year. That means the ground is almost too frozen to be able to bury our compost. We'll use up as much of the warmer space in the greenhouse as we can before winter really sets in, but in no time all of our compostables will be going into the big black bin on the curb.

I'll be honest, it's mostly bunny poop.

It's great fertilizer, and in general she's a very low (environmental) impact pet. But much like an infant, all she does is eat, sleep and poop. A lot. Even if we weren't generating as much garbage as we are, once it gets to the point of keeping her litter in the garbage can we have to "take the trash out" more often. It doesn't "keep" very long & I'm not particularly fond of my house smelling like a barn thankyouverymuch. Last years bear "situation" in our backyard doesn't exactly have me being a fan of keeping a bucket 'o' poo outside either.

Sigh, remind me to put garbage bags on the grocery list.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yoga November!

Hey, remember when I mentioned a while ago that I would be taking another stab at 30 days of yoga this month? Guess what- it's this month! I'd love to hear about your yoga practice and how you're improving it this month!


P.S. I know someone else who's joining me!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: November 02nd, 2011

Welcome back to What I Ate Wednesday, friends!

So what did we eat on our first day post-October Unprocessed?

Breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled with fresh local salsa & sundried tomato havarti along with 2 slices Udi's Millet Chia Bread

Lunch: Leftover Holiday Soup

Snack: Walnuts

Dinner: Ginger Beef with (gasp) white jasmine rice & steamed broccoli

Snack: Lindt dark chocolate

No halloween candy for our house this year. We gave (individually wrapped candy) up weeks ago. Don't panic mom-I can certainly still find (dairy free!) chocolate sans-plastic.