Sunday, July 8, 2012

Granola Girl

My friend Cat and I were talking over lunch recently about "granola people."  You know, the (mostly women) that are considered "crunchy"?  We both have our crunchy habits, but I at least am about finding out what's best for me (and if I had kids, them too).

I'm definitely not full-on granola and many of my lifestyle changes are only secondarily for the environment.  The primary reasons tend to be my health and my budget.

For example, I make my own laundry detergent.  It's awesome.  My clothes are cleaner than ever.  You can read about that here.  I'd read that my particular type of home-made detergent could double as dishwasher detergent, and I was a little skeptical.  Recently, a brand new carton of dishwashing gel things exploded under the sink, leaving me with no dishwasher detergent...and it really needed to run then before people came over.  So, I tried it, figuring that worst case scenario, I'd re-wash everything later.  It worked.  Clean dishes....always a plus. :)

I've made my own body wash- another experiment at school that's become a habit that you can read more about here.  I've skeptically made my own face wash for my combination skin...success! And chee-aapppp!  Yesterday, I made my own sugar scrub, knowing that I needed far more exfoliating than my loofah and gently exfoliating body wash could provide.  I got a wicked sunburn not long ago, and it's peeling, so.... I fixed it.  Now, the shower was absolutely disgusting by the time I was done, but it was a blast, and my skin feels smooth as a baby's bottom.  I'm getting a little granola-ey.

Anyway, I've almost totally cut out processed foods.  It's amazing that I feel better.  I didn't know I didn't feel good.  Recently, on the days that I've eaten a lot of processed foods, I don't feel so hot.  I find cooking to be cathartic and wholly relaxing, and am enjoying the opportunities that learning to cook with only unprocessed foods is providing me.  Basically, if it comes in a package, I avoid it.  I'm buying local and organic, when possible.  I'm feeling good, loving the variety of flavors everything has, and enjoying myself....all on a teacher's salary!

I did buy a cookbook called Don't Panic- Dinner's in the Freezer to help me out.  I substitute a good bit, and don't freeze all of the recipes.  It is great, however, for teaching you how to keep many of the nutrients and prepare meals ahead of time.  As a single gal, many of my recipes make enough for me to split the recipe, cooking some and freezing some, and have leftovers both times.  This is going to make my life so much easier when the school year gets back in swing and I'm back to full-time teaching and grad school again.

New fun with hybrid plants and some regulars:

Crustless quiche

Lemon Cucumber (a tasty hybrid) and tomato salad, with fresh dill...mmm, pickle-y!

Broiled lemon shrimp (I didn't use any oil, but hoped that cooking the lemons would release enough juice to moisten the shrimp.  It did- and they were delectable.

Assorted veggies from my friend T's garden.  I didn't think to snap a pic of them all before I started cooking.
Bottom right, white eggplant.
Middle- Thai red hots. 

I found this definition-ish thing on squidoo:

How You can BE CRUNCHY too

Being crunchy means to cloth diaper. It means to make your own baby food and shoporganic. If you are crunchy you probably make a lot of products from scratch or buy natural, organic, hormone free food products. If you are crunchy you probably wear organic cotton clothes and have something made from fast growing bamboo somewhere in your home. You may even have solar energy. If you are crunchy you probably drive a hybrid car or at least gas efficient vehicle. You take quick showers and don't leave lights on in your home. You may even walk through the dark to get where you are going to save energy. You have probably also been called a tree hugger at least once in your life. You probably buy green products from If you are crunchy you should be proud of yourself. You care about your body, your planet and other people as well. And who wants to be SOGGY?

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