Sunday, January 16, 2011

Of Things Come and Gone

So, in my quest to be healthier, greener, and more frugal, some things come, and some things go. The important thing is though, that I feel like I am making upward progress in general.

Some things that have come:

I am recycling! Rexburg didn't have much of a recycling program, but they have a pretty good one here. It feels nice not to be as wasteful.

I make all my yogurt homemade. I have never liked yogurt before, but I do like homemade. I have gotten to the point that I can whip out a gallon batch while I am cleaning the kitchen after dinner. Way cheaper, and way yummier, not to mention it doesn't have the loads of sugar the store bought kind has.

I am more aware of where my food comes from and what is involved in it's production. We still like meat a lot, but I am o.k. paying a bit more for humanely treated, hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed meat. (To be completely honest, I don't buy it all the time, just most of the time) Because it is more expensive, we eat less of it (probably better anyway), and because of the gross looking filler most fast food chains use in their burgers (see Food, Inc.), we hardly ever go out to fast food places anymore, with the exception of an occasional In-N-Out, which doesn't use fillers, and raise their own beef. (Just an aside, no worries, I am not out-of-control about this. If you put a nice piece of steak in front of me that is not grass fed or antibiotic free, trust me, I will still eat it, and I will enjoy it very much.)

We have started our garden. Container gardening this year because we have no yard, but hopefully it will be great!

We have pretty much switched to using xylitol or stevia for our sweeteners. A couple of us have teeth that are very susceptible to cavities, so this is a good change for us.

Things that have gone:

I have been not using shampoo the past couple of months because of the potentially harmful chemicals in it (I have made my own, or used a baking powder/water paste and a vinegar rinse), but I think this one will go by the wayside. There is a cost/benefit to all these types of choices, and to me, the benefit is not worth the cost. I like the yummy smelling shampoo, hate the vinegar smell. I don't like the effort of mixing up the baking powder stuff--I am lazy I guess, and just like having my little bottle of shampoo right there. For me, I think normal shampoo is cheaper too, because although baking powder is cheap, I go through boxes faster. My shampoo lasts me a long time.

Cheese making: Curtis and I got all excited about making cheese after listening to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle on CD. We made a decent batch of Mozerella, but when you get into any of the hard cheeses, it is really not that cost effective unless you have an unlimited supply of milk (ie; a cow). Also time consuming, because you have to let it age a long time. That will probably not be something we will pursue. We also tried making pasta, which we may continue to make on occasion, as it is pretty easy and tasty.

Sugar: Yup! While not completely gone, it is rarely used in our house anymore, as mentioned previously.

Anyway, things are coming. We are becoming a little healthier and a little wiser. Here's to even more progress in 2011!


AC said...

How is the no shampoo thing working?

I've read about xylitol, my mom gave me some toothpaste that said it was in it, and I googled it.

How is curtis handling this?

I like how you put a disclaimer in for our more conservative relatives and friends that might fear you have become a California hippie. :D

You guys are awesome.

Anna Marie said...

Curtis is all aboard, at least with the food stuff. That's the advantage of learning about stuff like this together--it's not just me.
The shampoo stuff he doesn't really care about.

Charity said...

I have those books on hold at the Library. I'll let you know what you think!

Charity said...

Dave wants me to try baking with stevia- I got some Truvia to try so do you have any tips?