I have a long-term goal of living a more simple life, which is a far cry from where I was in my mid-twenties. When I was in the corporate world, my boss owned my time. And, since I didn’t own my time, I felt compelled to own things. I looked to my possessions to define me and represent who I was. The cycle was: get paid more, work more, buy more.
Then, some years ago, I heard the saying, “The things you own end up owning you.” My buying behavior came into perspective and I found myself buying fewer things, because I didn’t like the idea of being owned by my possessions (it was bad enough being owned by my boss – haha). It didn’t take long before I realized that I yearned to own my time, not material objects, and that I longed for a more simple life. (Here is a very cool story regarding stuff that further strengthened my resolve.)
I’ve been successful at reducing my consumer footprint, and I’m happy with the results. I know what I’m doing is healthy for my soul and for the earth. It didn’t happen overnight, and it took some getting used to. Now, when I think about making a purchase, whether it’s food, clothing, kitchen equipment, books, electronics, etc, I take the time to think through the following: 1) Do I really need it? 2) Do I really want it? 3) Can I wait 2-weeks and then decide whether to buy it? 4) What resources and energy went into making this product and what am I doing to the earth by consuming it? After going through those questions, I have found that in most cases, I’m eager to say “no” and happy as a result.
Fast forward to today: I still have a lot of things from my previous lifestyle and it became apparent that it was time to declutter my home by cleaning, purging, recycling and throwing many of them away. The quote I reference earlier about “…things owning you” has taken on new life for me. I always thought about it with respect to monetary issues (buy fewer things, fewer things own me). Now, it goes beyond that, because possessions not only cost money, but they also cost time, the thing I’m anxious to own. This became apparent when I started thinking about how hard it is to keep my home clean. Why? Because I own too much shit. Hence, I have too much to dust. Couple that with the fact that I live in the desert with a dog that sheds, and I have a recipe for dust-covered objects. I pretty much have to thoroughly clean every couple of days, or when that Arizona sun comes streaming through my windows it can be a gross site when I see all the dust floating through the air. I immediately think, “Oh boy, that’s either going to end up on my floor, bed, table, etc, or I’m breathing it in. Ick!” Bottom line, I was spending too much of my precious time cleaning and wanted to figure out a way to reduce that. Answer: Have fewer things to dust.
Therefore, I decided to declutter and clean my home – purge style. I spent a couple of days going from top to bottom, under beds, through closets/cupboards, etc and created a HUGE pile of stuff to recycle, give to Goodwill, and throw out. It felt so good, cleansing, and liberating.
Considering the future:
As many of you know, we’re doing some family planning, and we’re definitely interested in homeschooling. Apart from the obvious benefit our kids will experience from it, we also want to travel the world with them during these childhood years (even living abroad part of it). This requires packing and moving. When the time comes (whether it’s sooner or later), I want to be able to put as few things into storage as possible, making it quick and easy to pack up and go. When I think about possessions in that perspective, it quickly becomes apparent that if I haven’t used it within the past year, odds are that I don’t need it and someone else might get better use out of it than me (time to recycle). “This house is clean.”
Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
Whole Foods: This Saturday (May 31, 11:00am-1:30pm), I’ll be at the new Whole Foods (Mayo Blvd/Scottsdale Rd – off the 101). I’m featuring my Moroccan Gazpacho recipe, so if you haven’t had it, then stop by and try some. And, if you have had it, then stop by anyway and say hi :)
Exercise: I’ll work on my chest and triceps (straight sets, high weight-low reps), and jump rope between sets.
Photo shoot: I’m also busy today with a photo shoot which is going to be fun! I can’t wait to get all gussied up, hair done, etc. I love being a girl!
Daily Conversation Question:
What song evokes the strongest memories for you?
Currently, I’m reading: Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
I wrote recently about researching my options with respect to having a baby because it’s something we’re going to be working on in the not-so-distant future. Hence, I’m researching everything involved. I just finished reading Good Nights, which discusses co-sleeping, and is something we’ll be doing (Pierce Brosnan does it, along with many other stars). I think after anyone does research on this topic they’ll quickly find how wonderful this is for both parents and baby. Seriously, great stuff in that book.
Back to Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth…I’m excited to read this book because it promises to be filled with loads of terrific information. I want to share one of the impressive endorsements on the back of her book: “Simply put, midwife Ina May Gaskin is the most important person in maternity care in North America, bar none. As a reproductive scientist as well as a medical practitioner, I can assure readers that everything Ina May presents in this book is based on the best scientific evidence. This book should be read by every woman who is having or may someday have a baby, and by every midwife, nurse, doula, childbirth educator, and doctor who assists or may someday assist these women through their maternity experience.” – Marsden Wagner, M.D., M.S., former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health, World Health Organization. Impressive, huh?
I can’t imagine my HRAV (high raw, all vegan) life without fresh Plant Blood. With each sip I feel energized, cleansed, rejuvenated, empowered, fueled, and full of life. Plant Blood is what I call any fresh juice made from plants and following is a recipe that rocks my world.
Yield 2 quarts
1 cup water
1 bunch celery
1 bunch parsley
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender
and strain out the juice, using a nutmilk bag, into a large bowl. Or, use a juicer, such as the GreenStar
to make your Plant Blood
. Because I like to make extra, I store my Plant Blood
in a glass mason jar, using a FoodSaver
to keep it as fresh as possible until I want to drink it later in the day. Enjoy!
We’re spending a nice long weekend at mom’s. We love coming over here because we basically get to go on a mini-vacation (even though it’s only about 45 min away). It’s usually time spent watching movies on the couch, laptop nearby for surfing the web, munching on all kinds of yummy snacks, playing with the four dogs (we bring our dog for the little mini-break too), and just relaxing. Today was special because we celebrated my step-dad’s birthday, and can you guess what movie we voted to take my parents to? You probably won’t believe it…well, maybe you will. We saw Iron Man. It was our 4th time. I tell ya, I just am not tired of it, clearly.
Tomorrow we’re going to eat watermelon, read, and spend some time at the pool if the weather is nice (it’s been rather icky and cold here lately).
Well, I’m gettin’ a little hungry, so I’m off to the kitchen to find something to munch on.
If you are following me on twitter then you know that I scored some organic kohlrabi the other day. I made a smoothie with it and thought I’d share the recipe with you, but you might not want to make it. Although eating different kinds of produce is important to ensure a balanced diet of well-rounded nutrition, sometimes I’m tempted to put my foot down and say, “no.” There should be some reward for choking down something that doesn’t taste good (let’s be honest: nasty), apart from the nutrients I’m getting. Perhaps I’ll get some cool super-powers as a result. A girl can dream, right?
So, I’m already imagining ways to improve the smoothie…for starters, leave the kohlrabi out (haha). Hey! Maybe the smoothie is giving me comedic powers or maybe I’m just getting the giggles and laughing at myself.
Reasons to add Kohlrabi to your life: It’s from the cabbage family and can be eaten as crudite or blended into a smoothie, like I did today. All parts of it are game for eating (bulb, stem and leaves). Kohlrabi is low in calories, loaded with cancer fighting phytonutrients, vitamin C & potassium, and packed with fiber.
Kohlrabi Nasty Green Smoothie
Yield: too much
1 1/2 cups water
1 kohlrabi (bulb, stem and leaves)
2 red delicious apples (this variety has the most phytos)
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
it up, choke it down.
Seeing as I have another bulb to force down my throat (and my boyfriend’s), I’m going to make our next kohlrabi smoothie sweeter with bananas (or I’m going to chop it up for our salads).
Friday, May 23rd, 2008
Kristen Suzanne in vegan
If you didn’t know, Oprah committed to going VEGAN for 21-days. I’m stoked! I’m elated! I’m so happy for her and the animals that have been saved as a result. Follow her blog for more details. She reported being very satisfied with the food so far. This could be huge y’all with Oprah supporting a Vegan diet…I’ve been waiting for this day to come and it’s finally here.
Daily Conversation Question:
What’s the best and worst thing about being a man or a woman.
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
I miss my former espresso days using my cute demitasse cups, so I’m giving them new life by drinking my wheatgrass from them. Isn’t it adorable? Only, I wanted to create a fun alternative to plain wheatgrass, because this never was my favorite beverage (I usually make faces while swallowing it). The verdict? This recipe is fantastically fun! And, it’s potent – Yowza! This little concoction will definitely put some “hip in your hop!”
rocks because it’s loaded with nutrients and is one of the best ways to help alkalize your body. Ginger
is the queen of spices and worthy of much adoration (garlic is king, by the way) because it helps with nausea (which can occur with some people after having plain wheatgrass, myself included), boosts circulation and is filled with antioxidants. The spicy Serrano pepper
(or habanero) adds heat and fun (like espresso, only a different kind of heat- haha). Read amazing things about hot peppers here
Daily Conversation Question:
If money were no object what kind of party would you throw and where?
One of my biggest passions (if not the biggest) is animals, so I’m always stoked when I see an article like this: Smartest Animals. I hope you enjoy this quick article as much as I did. Personally, I’m in awe of animals and filled with so much respect for them. How could you not be? They’re just so damn cool!
This is a picture of my dog here (isn’t he gorgeous?). I was raised with always having at least one dog running around (sometimes up to three of them!), so it only seemed fitting that I’d get my own when I moved out. I’ve had my dog for about eight years now, and he is truly my buddy. I figured a picture of him was appropriate for this post – he is a smarty!
I’d love to have a pig as a pet, too…but all in due time. I envision myself someday living in a home with plenty of land, where I can grow some of my own food, and have all kinds of animals running around (horses, pigs, bunnies, dogs, etc).
Today’s Raw Food Plan:
1 quart Plant Blood
3 cups watermelon
1 quart Plant Blood
4 cups watermelon
Raw Vegan Banana Split (YUM!)
We’re going to the gym tonight, and I’m planning to work out my chest and triceps, as well as doing some cardio (the treadmill is calling my name).
Daily Conversation Question:
Would you rather live by the beach or in the mountains?