Tag Archives: Choices

Minimalism & Balance

29 Jan


As long as I can remember I have been goal orientated. Pushing myself beyond my expectations, beyond my bodies capabilities all to obtain my goals. I was brought up to believe I could have anything I wanted, and it’s true. I can, if I work hard enough. Working hard to achieve my goals I have come a long way. When I look at my career I can see how much I have achieved and am content. My all or nothing methods though are not sustainable and my accomplishments have come at a price. My body has suffered from always being put second, or third and so have many of my interests and more creative ventures.

A wise friend of mine shared some advice that to get 50% you  need to give up 50%

Life is 100% full already so if you want to add new things you need to let go of some others. It’s all about balance.

Balance is not about instant delivery, its about knowing when to use the force behind you and when to relax and reflect. Accepting and embracing that both are powerful and important actions. To achieve what I strive for, “letting go” is becoming the most important step to moving forward.

Recently I have been interested in minimalism. It started with a wardrobe clean-out that led me to find Project 333. 33 Items of clothing for 3 months. Bliss! Since this discovery I have been researching and it makes so much sense. Letting go of things has started to allow me to find more space for experience. I am feeling calmer and have a growing sense of possibility.

Instead of adding endless things, items and jobs to my “plan” I am now going to focus on things I can remove from my life, to make more space for the important things. Relationships, Creativity and Health.

Lamb Trees, The Vegetarian Option

14 Mar

Scotland Trees {alicia camenzuli}

I wish meat grew on trees.

It would solve all my food problems and would reduce our environmental impact more significantly than most of us could imagine.

What I want to understand is this, why do my food choices seem to affect people so personally and why have I cared for so long?

Meat and I have had an interesting relationship for many years. Let’s get this straight, I grew up eating and enjoying meat. I did though, from a young age, begin to feel a heaviness when I ate it. It started when I began to recognise that what I was eating, was in fact an animal. I love animals and have been confused about eating them for a long time, because to me, on a basic level, it makes no sense at all. Let’s be honest. There is no reason for most people in this modern western world to eat meat. Nutritionally it is possible, even easy to have a balanced and healthy diet. Too much meat even makes people sick. So why are we holding onto our harmful carnivorous ways?

I have spent the last five years swinging between vegetarian and carnivore. The main reason for my lack of vegetarian success has been habit and guilt. I have been so concerned with inconveniencing others with my vegetarianism that I have found myself, many a time, eating meals that I don’t really want to, to avoid being “a trouble”. As an (almost) vegetarian, I never really think to ask people why they eat meat, or judge them for it. Most meat eaters though, seem to ask in an accusing way (quite often) why I don’t eat it. Sometimes I get the impression that my vegetarianism is a personal affront to them. Perhaps it is.

If I want to be honest, I do think that people should care more about what they eat generally. I think people shoud be more educated as to where that food comes from. I have a big problem with the lack of responsibility people take for problems in our world. I believe that by buying factory farmed meats, by expecting low priced product, we are supporting a cruel industry and taking away from the older style “good practice” farming methods that are more sustainable and humane. I think that what we eat is a choice. When we become old enough to buy our own food, we make choices as to which industries we support. I don’t think meat eating is wrong, I think not being aware is wrong. Meat eating is not what it used to be, it’s not a natural process anymore and it is out of control. What it comes down to is our habits and traditions versus the modern factory farming reality.

My food choices have always been about how I see myself, how I see the world and how truthful I want to be with myself. I want to live, in accordance with my beliefs, in line with what I believe to be right. I want my actions to reflect and impact on what I accept and do not accept about farming industry processes.

I’m definitely not perfect and I’m still trying to find my feet. I am feeling better though, year by year, as I learn more and am able to feel my actions align with my beliefs. The more aware I become, the harder it is to turn a blind eye. My reasons for change are both ethical and emotional. They are mine alone and I have decided to stand by them. I am no longer ashamed or embarassed. 

I now eat as a Vegetarian as an everyday standard. This works for me and I feel stronger and healthier for it.

Once a month, if I feel like it (and it’s looking as though I might allow some months to pass) I allow myself to celebrate a beautiful meal (with some beautiful people) that is prepared with ethically produced or caught meat. This means a celebratory traditional or meal with meaning.

I am grateful for becoming more vegetarian as it has opened my world to delicious foods that I would never have discovered. Good Vegetarian is far from eating “just vegetables”. I will share my recipes with you soon… Until then, have a look at Heidi Swansons 101 Cookbooks. It’s a beautiful catalogue of healthy, delicious vegetarian food!

Eating Animals is a great book you should read if you are interested… it will expand your horizons. This is a great debate that I could identify with. Jonathan Safran, like me had been swinging to and fro for years before finally coming to a decision on how to feed his young Son. This is not an anti-meat book, it is a factual look at pracitices and arguments from both sides of the meat camp.

What are your feelings on food and vegetarianism? Do you think before you eat? I struggle with the idea of never eating my families traditional meals again, is tradition a reason to be carnivorous?

Do you think you get what you pay for?

{treechange} Informed Choices… Ethical Groceries

21 Feb

Hello, Welcome to my first  {treechange} entry!

For a long time, I felt guilty about not being greener. Not being able to DO more because I was so overwhelmed by wanting to do everything. So I did nothing. I was stuck.

I slowly came to the conclusion that changing one small thing every now and then, leads to lots of small things being changed. That amounts to a sizeable impact to be proud of. I know a lot of us feel this way so here is my contribution to help you make more ethicaly informed, healthier choices. I will try to keep this simple, I am excited about this topic and just want to share everything at once… but that is exactly not the point! Small easy bite sized pieces of information is what you will find here… small and friendly ways to change our world.

The first step…Actively making the decision to become more educated.

The simplest thing we can do is to become more educated so that we can make informed choices. I try not to be too hard on myself about this, sometimes I do make the wrong choice, sometimes I don’t know what choice to make. This will take time and there is always more to learn. But the thing I am proud of is that I do think before I act. I have made this a habit. Try to become more conscious of the choices you are presented with and you will see a big difference in how you operate. We are so entrenched in habits sometimes that we are blind to seeing an option or choice when it is in front of us!

Lets start with groceries: Do you know anything about the companies that you are supporting when you buy foods at the supermarket? I didn’t have a clue.

A really great and interesting start is to have a look at ethical.org. They supply information on all the companies stocking the shelves in a handy pocket guide.They even have a category for beer!

(Ethical Shopping Guide) from ethical.org.au

They do the hard work for you!

They show all products as having praises, criticisms and boycott calls etc. Also noted are Australian owned companies. I have the app on my phone for easy access but did start with a hardcopy. It was great to browse through now and then with a cup of tea. You will be surprised at who owns what and what they are up to! The app links you to references and resources connected to the ranking scores.

The 2010 version is viewable here and downloadable for free: Ethical Supermarket Shopping 2010 it is updated every year.

Wondering why bother? The chart below shows the issues you are dealing with every time you make a simple purchase. If not for the environment or for animal welfare, perhaps your own health and wellbeing might be a reason to start making small changes.

Chart of issues from ethical.org.au

So happy shopping! Let me know if you find anything that surprises you!

What do you think it takes to make a difference? Small things?

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