Day 149 / 365
Summer timeeee and the livin' is easyyyy, maybe too easy ... so easy I've neglected to keep up on my daily blog posts and after a three week blissed out trip in Costa Rica, I'm now basking in guilt's gaze and doing my very best to get caught up on emails, freelance work, and blogging taboot.
For the three weeks we were in Costa Rica it was quite easy to keep up a plant-based diet as veggies, fruits, rice and legumes were the most affordable thing my and my vagabond husband could find. I was amazed at how energetic and sprightly I felt, and noticed the difference in the functionality of my body once we return backed to Paris and binged on cheese and bread.
Plant based diets are the most eco way to eat (watch Cowspiricy), and the healthiest way to eat too (watch Knives over Forks). To top it off, eating in season provides your body with the vitamins and minerals you need for the weather you find yourself in.
Seasonal eating has been a quarterly focus of this #GoneGreen2016 series, I’ve slowly made my way from a vegetarian diet over to a plant-based diet, which I'm doing imperfectly (I need a cheese / croissant / baguette intervention), but I'm slowly and surely improving my willpower as I gather and digest the information available to me.
It's super hard to believe for most people that what we've been taught about nutrition and health has been a big fat lie, especially when it comes to preventing and curing deadly diseases, but unfortunately those who control the dissemination of information are very much in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies who profit off illness with glee. I think it is important each person makes a decision for their health that it right for them, but it is important that decision is informed, and whether it is through documentaries, self-study, or conversation, it's important to consider, in all facets of life, that what you know to be right could very well be wrong.
The documentaries Cowspiricy and Knives over Forks have both helped convince me, that for my health and the health of the planet, I've gotta be the change I want to see. Which means will power has got to rise up in me.
I grew up vegetarian, so stepping back to that realm is full of comfort for me, my mum has a plethora of delicious recipes for me to dig into and my husfriend is a bad ass cook so those two things combined made my move away from meat easy. Then came seasonal eating, which living in France simplifies as each fruit and vegetable has a sign indicating where the product came from, certain ones will disappear completely when they're out of season rather than being brought in from elsewhere. Shifting to a plant-based diet is harder, letting go of cheese, milk, baked goods, and butter, the four things I love to eat the most has shown me my own stubborn inability to change.
Habits are hard to shift, even the best-intentioned ones, so it's important to just push yourself further no matter how often you fail. It's also important to genuinely believe in what you're doing. I do it for the planet, as much as for myself, and I believe, based on the information I've gathered, that this is the right nutritional choice for me.
If you're still eating meat daily, start by shifting down your consumption. You only need 20oz of protein per week and you can get that without eating any animals at all if you so choose. If you're not willing to adjust the food groups you consume, at least adjust where your food is coming from, shop local and shop organic, so you're voting with your dollar for the type of agriculture you want to see and supporting your own community.
It makes the kitchen experience much more interesting if you don't have the same products you're used to. It allows for creativity and discovery which is never a bad thing in or outside the kitchen. In the three posts to follow my super talented blogger buddy, Faye from Sustaining Life, is going to let me share some of her spectacular seasonal recipes with you.
- TIPS FOR MAKING THE SWITCH -
Find out what is in season where you live it changes depending on where you live (just google: 'what veggies and fruits are in season in your city). You can search online or ask a local farmer. You’ll find that Summer and Spring flow with with flowering veggies and other brightly coloured things.
Buy your produce from local Organic farmers rather than the big box stores. This reduced greenhouse gas emissions, helps maintain the soil and water quality, and protects the biodiversity and eco systems of your local community. If market or farmer’s market shopping is not an option available to you, the tag for each veggie or fruit should list where the item came from. If it doesn’t list say the country in which you dwell. Don’t buy it! Food imported from other countries travels a long way which burns fossil fuels and emits greenhouse gasses. Buying local and eating sustainably reduces these two polluters, boosts your local economy, and saves you loads of money, a hat trick of wins. Two polluters nixed and a boost to your local economy, a prime example of a win-win.
At the very least, try growing herbs in a pot in your kitchen, if you’ve got a garden try planting a few things. There’s nothing more eco-friendly or rewarding than grabbing your breakfast from your own back yard.
[EAT LESS MEAT and FISH]
I’m not really one to tell people what food groups they should and shouldn’t eat but since learning that the main cause of climate change is caused by the methane coming out of a cow’s ass, and that the meat and dairy industry as it stands is gearing up to kill all the fish in the sea - reducing the oxygen in the air that we breath - and will eventually kill us as well, one has to consider cessation.
I know how much this apocalypse like prophesy sounds like something South Park created in a comedic sketch, death by farts seems like such a middle school way to go, but that’s where we’re heading if we don’t shift our … sh*t … for lack of a better word.
If you can get your meat eating down to one day a week, that’s great. If you can become a vegetarian, that’s super helpful too. If you can become a vegan that’s the greenest thing you can do (I’m still working on getting myself there, no excuses, it's willpower and politeness that keeps me on the dark side).
If you're interested in learning more about the issues with the meat and dairy industry and the effects our conventional processes are having on our planet and all the wildlife, check out COWSPIRACY which you can find on Netflix or HERE.
[COOK YOUR FOOD]
There are tons of recipe books that aid you in recipe ideas for eating in season. There are also tons of blogs as well. I’ve asked a few foodie bloggers to take over for the next few days to give you a wintery option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, but it shouldn't be too difficult to shift your diet no matter what your chosen chowing choices permit.
As with all transitions, take it slow. If each of us can do these little adjustments (I understand the meat parts is a big adjustment but try), it’s a massive step in the right direction. If you can do all suggested above, you’ll be making a difference in your health, community and economy while leaving a smaller environmental footprint, and maybe saving the oceans, the wildlife, our species and our planet, which is more than most superheros can attest to achieving, and that ain't no small thang.
- SEASONAL SUGGESTIONS -
[SUMMER VEGGIES IN FRANCE]
[SUMMER FRUITS IN FRANCE]