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Archive for May, 2012

3 Lunches for 5 Days in 10 Minutes or Less

A lunch sits on a blue tablecloth with a brown...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I bring lunch to work every day. This is mainly because I am way too lazy to actually leave my building to drive somewhere to get food (thank goodness there are no food sources IN my building, or I’d probably lose my ‘willpower’ like that!).

There are other reasons, of course – it saves money, and I’ve been on this kick of trying to eat real food and more recently, not consuming meat that doesn’t have a source I know and trust. It’s pretty limiting – but in a good way!

Thus, my brown bags (reusable handle bags, really) and the ever constant question of how will I fill them up. Some things are standard. I keep a tub of yogurt in the fridge at work for a morning snack that I top with organic local honey and crispy walnuts. Larabars used to be a fixture until my grocery store recently raised the price of a box by $2 (!) so now it’s generally a piece of fruit (I cannot get by without snacking at work – especially in the morning. I don’t know how people who don’t survive until lunch!).

Breakfast is almost always eggs – fried, scrambled, boiled. Sometimes I’ll do cheese and fruit, or if I’m being terrible I’ll go through the Tim’s drive through on the way to work, but that’s usually an act of desperation (breakfast – again, something I cannot survive without).

So that leaves lunches, which, if I’m not careful, can get real boring, real fast. And I don’t like that, so I’ve devised multiple ways to avoid the 5 sandwiches a week trap - creative cooking to provide tasty leftovers, actually making things on the weekend specially for lunches (this stuffed chicken was my pièce de résistance)but then there are the days I haven’t thought very far ahead and need to make something in the morning – fast. I keep ingredients for the following 3 ‘recipes’ in my kitchen and know that I’ll always have something on hand when I’m in a rush that actually tastes good and keeps me going through the afternoon.

Note: The following recipes do use a microwave, which I normally am not a big fan of recommending – but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And I justify myself by not having a microwave at home. ;) And no, I do not judge you if you have a microwave. And yes, you could potentially be awesome with a thermos and avoid a microwave altogether with the following if you were way awesomer than I am. OK that was a long note. Anyway…

Here is my 3 Lunches for 5 Days in 10 Minutes or Less Meal Plan. Read the rest of this entry »

A Million Tiny Things ~ GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

In the past, whenever I felt overwhelmed and neurotic and heading into an endless downward spiral, I would read Anne Lamott’s book of essays Traveling Mercies, and I would snap out of it. Because here’s someone even more neurotic, even more overwhelmed, overall just crazier than me, and somehow she manages to learn to forgive herself and live anyway…

…I’m almost definitely even more neurotic, even more overwhelmed, overall just crazier than you, and somehow I do manage to learn to forgive myself and live anyway. ~Kenna Lee

A Million Tiny Things: A Mother’s Urgent Search for Hope in a Changing Climate, by Kenna Lee, is absolutely one of my favourite books that I have ever read. (Have I ever mentioned that I read a lot?)

From the moment I picked it up, I was hooked (I’m telling you it was as bad as the last book of Harry Potter!). I was literally laughing my head off – and alternatively near tears – with just about every other paragraph, and ultimately so sorry when the book came to an end that I turned around and read it right over again!

There is no better way to convey the why of what made me love this book so much beyond saying simply: Kenna gets it.

Let me ask you – are you a mom? Have you ever felt eco guilt? Have you ever pondered how difficult it is to do what you know/feel is right combined with the necessity of balancing family and half a million other things and maybe maintaining your sanity at the same time? Yes? OK then – you will want to read this book.

There is so much wisdom – so much funny – so much truth in these words Kenna has bared her soul to share. And yes, she probably is more neurotic than you :) – but she’ll still inspire the heck out of you while she’s at it. Read the rest of this entry »

For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

Boy it is giveaway central around here lately (and there’s even more to come a little later this week!). There have just been so many great things to share – and I hope you know I don’t do giveaways or reviews for anything I don’t think is really awesome – my enthusiasm is very real! :)

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing a beautiful book recently released by Dionna Ford, blogger at Code Name: Mama and co-founder of both the Natural Parents Network and Nursing Freedom.org.

The book is called For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom. A gorgeous keepsake intended for mothers of grown children – it is one of the best ways I’ve ever seen for a mom to pass on her memories and wisdom in a form her children can treasure forever.

You know how a beautiful journal just inspires you to want to fill it up? I always feel that way when I browse the fancy journal section in the bookstore – and For My Children fits that bill perfectly. It’s so pretty! The illustrations, the colours – everything about it cries, “Write in me!”

And for those looking for further inspiration, For My Children takes care of that, too. Each page is headed with a prompt or guide for writing your thoughts to your kids – things like:

  • What do you wish you had known as a new mother?
  • If you had to compare your family members to fictional characters (from movies, books, etc.), who would they be?
  • Have you ever nursed a broken heart? What did you find were the best ways to heal the hurt? Read the rest of this entry »

The Cost of NOT Greening Your Period

pads and tampon garbage

pads and tampon garbage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 disclaimers to begin this post…

#1 – It’s late! I meant to have this as a wrap up to the posts of the week before last and just didn’t get to it in time. My apologies! :)

#2 – I plan to share in this post (among other things) some great reasons for ‘greening your period’ – or switching to reusable menstrual products. On the flip side of that I will be sharing some of the not-so-great things about disposable products. While I believe what I’m sharing has merit and sincerely hope that it may help provide a few answers for anyone on the fence or new to the whole idea, I am absolutely not judging you if you disagree with what’s expressed here. If this post comes as the right one at the right time for you, great! If it’s totally not your bag, feel free to ignore it!

OK – now we can get started!

I want to re-post something I shared last year:

  • Over 20 BILLION disposable pads, tampons, and applicators will
    be added to landfills every year in North America alone. The disposal of
    these products releases dioxins and other toxic chemicals into our
    rivers, lakes and oceans and pollutes our soil.
  • A woman will use on average 13,000 disposable menstrual products
    in her lifetime. ONE cloth pad has the potential to replace 140
    disposable pad/tampon products.
  • ONE cloth pad can last up to 5 years.
  • Disposable pads and tampons used in an average woman’s
    menstruating life will cost her $4500 compared to $200-$750 for reusable
    pads and tampons.
  • Many pads and tampons are chemically treated to whiten, perfume,
    and make them more absorbent. They are also made of synthetic fibers.
    Given the sensitivity of the vaginal area to chemical absorption and the
    number of disposable menstrual products a woman uses in her life, this
    is a really big issue.

Sources: http://www.naturalmenstrualproducts.com/, http://lunapads.com/about-us/media-info

This list is why I titled this post as I did.

First off, the contribution I was making to landfills with all those tampons and pads was something I never even considered. For far too long I was of the mindset that when you throw garbage ‘away’, it just goes into that nebulous ‘away’ that most of us never have to think about or deal with.

But when you do think of it…what a terrible burden to place on our earth! Don’t get me wrong – I still use things that are disposable. But I have come to see that we do WAY more disposable than we need to in so many things, where it takes surprisingly little effort to use something that will last for years.

Ultimately, whether it’s pads and tampons or paper plates or diapers or plastic spoons or whatever, we need to start counting the cost with these things. We need to start seeing the numbers – envisioning the disaster we are creating – and acting accordingly.

Moving on to actual financial cost. Read the rest of this entry »

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