Friday, March 11, 2011

Eat More, Drive Less

It's a radical concept, but if you want to eat waaaaay more food than usual, lose weight, and get more fit--drive less. Walk your happy hiney to the store, the post office, your friend's house, wherever. You will save lots of gas money, which means you're keeping gas out of the environment, and your butt will be look awesome.

I have a theory that walking is also good for meditation. When you walk, you aren't (hopefully) distracted by music or texting or what have you. You're in tune with the rhythm of your feet, and that pulls you in to the rhythm of your soul. It's good for you, keeps you from making yourself busy all the time in an effort to avoid whatever it is in your head that you may not want to contemplate.

And, walking could save the planet.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I've been thinking about the nature of the world today. It seems like I'm always running here, running there. I skipped two classes yesterday just because I needed some time at my apartment. You heard me--I didn't skip to party, or hang out with friends. I skipped to go to my apartment and sit on my couch (well, and to make some bread and a couch cover, but I digress). I needed some un-rushed time where no demands of my time were being made. I think it's healthy to relax and not fill every hour with activity. Unfortunately, that's often not the way the world works.

So, new efforts will be put towards a little yoga and tea every morning--to start my morning by relaxing. By being more efficient at work, I also won't have to do any work outside of that. Next semester, I'm also only taking one night class instead of two--that's going to make me feel much more free. I'm also about an hour away from resigning from the scheduled portion of an every other Saturday job, so I'll always have a two day weekend. I'm feeling fine, but I've definitely been getting warning signals that it's time to do some time management, or I'm going to start feeling very stressed and overextended.

So, how is this relevant for the reader? My suggestion is to stay really tuned in to yourself. Take note of how you're feeling on a day to day basis. Are you stressed or relaxed? Enjoying some free time for friends, family, and hobbies, or are you overdoing it as far as work, school, or other commitments? Do what you can to weed out excess time constraints early, rather than letting your physical or mental healthy suffer.

Now, go have some tea.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Plant Plans

My initial reaction to that idea of planting a garden is, "Oh, man! I can plant one of everything!" Unfortunately, that's entirely illogical given the space I have and the time I have. So, I went to the secondary list, which is what I eat almost daily, and seems most logical to try to grow myself.

Summer squash
Green Beans


Though I typically prefer pole-type plants, this year I'm going with bush variety, just to try something new, as well as to ease the amount of supplies and labor that are required initially.

Above are my favorite veggies, the ones that make me wish every year for summer, and thus are the ones I am most pushed to plant. The March list I plan to put in next Thursday.

On a side note, there's a little tiny strip of green on the sidewalk by my apartment that I'm pretty sure is neglected by the world. I'm planning to get a couple of cheap packs of wildflower seeds and plant them there, to create a little unexpected beauty. What can you do this week to create some beauty for yourself, your surroundings, or someone who really needs it?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bad hippie, bad

Well, maybe not BAD, but bad. Moving has put me in a rush lately (despite this, I am finally fully moved). Consequently, I've been eating whatever was available--which has often been fast food. No fruits, no veggies, in the scheme of things anyway. Maybe a salad here and there. :( My belly is not happy with me at all. As I wrote about a week or two ago, things move better when they're fed properly. So, take this as my vow to be better. No fast food, fewer carbs, since those have also been the bane of my existence for several days now, and lots of veggies and fruits. I've got to be hard core for at least a week to get this straightened out.

Argh. It's so much easier to be mostly good all the time, so that you don't have to be painfully perfect every now and then. Noted.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Plastic Grocery Sacks

My boyfriend is a sweetheart of a guy, but in the first five minutes of talking to him you wouldn't necessarily get the 'environmentally concerned' vibe. In fact, I'm not even sure that's a label he would hardily rush to claim. However, he recycles more than I do, and is always reminding me to grab the reusable grocery sacks. He drives a diesel, which gets twice the gas mileage my car does. When I used one plastic grocery sack at Kroger the other day, his comment was, "Well, I guess I can use one at the house for something."

One. For something.
We should all take a note, myself included. This got me to thinking in general about plastic grocery sacks. We should all absolutely be carrying our own sacks to the store, but every now and then, we still will wind up with one or two coming home with us. But, is that really as bad as it seems? They fit bathroom trashcans perfectly, which prevents us from buying special trash bags and the extra waste that comes with. To be fair, if you're going to spend the money on biodegradable, (more) environmentally friendly trash bags, I totally encourage you to do so. They also work well for scooping litter, packing fragile items, and can be recycled into crafts if you have the time for it.

My only point is, try not to waste, as always, but if you wind up with a couple of plastic sacks, don't flip out--recycle or reuse!

Gas Prices, Walking, and Eating Lunch

I just moved, as you all know. Lucky for me, that move is next door to a fire station and a freeway. First night of sleep was interesting.

Seriously though, I'm incredibly lucky because I can see a food truck called Green Cuisine from my window. It's an all vegetarian food truck. They also recycle, which is just one small step in reducing waste on our planet. Another huge step is driving less. I walked to Green Cuisine for lunch yesterday, and I want to encourage everyone to walk for their lunch today.

Gas prices in my area are at about $3.35. I don't know about you, but that's not in my budget. Consequently, I'm working on a new plan that will put all of my gas trips on a single line, hopefully to streamline or minimize my gas usage. In addition, with where I've just moved, I have the ability to walk about a mile and be at a farmer's market (in May, anyway). I can also take a trolley to get to the closest grocery store. I admit that this takes longer, and requires better planning ahead--no running to the store because you forgot a gallon of milk. Nonetheless, in the long run, your healthy and your bank account with both thank you. If you must drive, for whatever reason, try to make it along a line of other errands you must do--or on the way to and from work. It's the extra trips that really cost.

Consider getting out the old bicycle. It's great exercise that often feels effortless because it's so fun, and, with a lovely basket and set of pannier bags, can haul almost anything you could give it. (Tip: Baby wipes are lightweight, and excellent in the summer for freshening up after a long ride to school or work--or even after a short one, humid as it gets here in the South.)

Have a lovely Friday and a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Garden Plan 3

Well, apparently now I am the proud owner of two potential garden locations. Number two is at my DB's (dear boyfriend) house. He will not weed, plant, harvest, water, or otherwise harm or nurture said garden. However, the use of land is offered. Sounds good to me. I can be a bit territorial about gardens, and if I'm being honest I'd probably really prefer that no one else is picking about in my growing things.

However, in an effort to not put all my eggs in one basket, I think I'll do half in one location and half in another. This way something somewhere should turn out. Again, pictures to come as soon as I'm at these locations at a reasonable hour for such a thing.

On a side note, CANAS (Central Arkansas New Agrarian Society) has recently formed and meets once monthly at Vino's. They are open to anyone with an interest in gardening, be it larger scale farming (sustainably) or smaller home plots, or even just a plant in the house at all. I doubt I'll make any meetings this spring, as they're all when I have class on Wednesday nights, but I encourage everyone else to go. The people that make up CANAS are worth knowing.