Breakfast splurge at Sucrose in St.Charles, Mo.
Country life vs. city life for sure. I’m a forever foodie – but maybe not in the traditional sense? It’s not always about aesthetics but often about nourishment (as in my new fascination with foraging wild foods) but today, in the big city of St.Louis, it’s about splurging on some higher sugar and fat than I would ever have at home. But still, made in house daily by a small, local business.
While some might call me picky, persnickety or snobbish when it comes to what I ingest – that’s their prerogative! I am picky because I care about certain issues like where my food came from, the possible ethical issues tied into the procuring of the food (Ex. Coffee and the workers involved, dairy and the cows and factory farms involved), the packaging of the food and its environmental impact, the corporation who owns the establishment vs. supporting local businesses etc!! I generally enjoy this process – it makes me feel empowered and I feel health is one of the highest priorities. Without it, we can’t do anything else, right?! And remember, WE LITERALLY ARE WHAT WE EAT!
Over the past years – since starting the Zero Waste Lifestyle and realizing how good it felt (perhaps surprisingly) to be deprived sometimes – I have redefined what my daily eating intake looks like. I no longer eat three meals a day, I don’t snack in between the meals I do eat, I stay hydrated with water, I don’t eat unless I am feeling hungry, I look at my eating seasonally – saying goodbye to blueberries, tomatoes and cantaloupes etc in the winter. For over a year, I have been practicing intermittent fasting – meaning I go as long as I can overnight not eating. I shoot for at least 12 hours and easily go 14 or 16 hours a few times a week. Suffice it to say, I am working on my durability! Remember, IT’S OKAY TO FEEL HUNGRY sometimes! In fact, it’s good for us! Our bodies were designed for feast and famine, but when’s the last time you’ve experienced famine?! And this is where some fun challenges come in for me. I can hold out and find a local cafe over fast food. I can eat only what I find at a farmer’s market and create my recipes from that – rather than driving all over town looking for specific ingredients that may be out of season or in disposable packaging. I am not addicted to coffee, so I will hold out for my ethically sourced, rain forest certified cup and pass up the Folgers.
I would like to end by acknowledging that I am a privileged, white woman who has enough money (& a vehicle etc) to make some of these – what some may deem – elitist choices. I still stand by the fact that there is a way for all people to have some of these same choices and to embrace the Zero Waste Lifestyle, but it may take education and some sort of external help, guidance or initial monetary investment to get there. The truth is getting back to nature and learning about the plants around us holds all the answers. Living simply and letting go of the perceived standards of living, which are guided by consumerism, will be our salvation. It’s not about choosing and paying for organic food, it’s about putting some seeds out in your backyard or in your windowsill. It’s about researching what all the different “weeds” are surrounding your apartment complex or in the field across the street and then consuming them! It’s about cutting back on your meat intake – saving money and packaging – and being nourished by extremely affordable dried beans, legumes and fresh vegetables or eating the meat you hunt (deer, anyone?!) It’s not about only being able to afford Folgers coffee, it’s about finding some Yaupon Holly from a friend (in the South and Midwest) and harvesting North America’s natural caffeinated beverage!
Talk about bringing things back to local!
I know I’m an optimist. I’m a believer. But simplicity is the key. Less is more. Excess will be the death of us. The priority of comfort will be our downfall. Embrace discomfort. Become durable.
Extra little references/thoughts:
Marie Kondo has a new Netflix show helping people to downsize and keep only the material things that bring them joy. Based on her book, “The Magic Art of Tidying Up”. Remember – when cleaning out, donate your belongings and recycle everything possible before sending to the garbage!
A reminder for those who would consider themselves to be followers of Christ (& everyone else too!): Jesus had no belongings. For all accounts, he was a homeless, shoeless, dirty, long haired Middle Eastern hippy who preached “its easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.” And this is why Jesus is my homeboy, for reals. But why, in a country that is majority Christian, are we ACTUALLY ruled by the economy and consumerism?? I hear Christians talk about the Bible passage that says “you cannot serve two masters,” and Its references as man or government vs. God. I ask you today to contemplate replacing “man” with words like the economy, materialism, money, or excess food and see how that strikes you. Contemplation = good.
Now, amen and namaste’ y’all!