Archives for April 2017

Project “Not Buying Sh** in Plastic at the Grocery”

 

In honor of Earth Day, I’m finally publishing this post I’ve had in the drafts for the past two weeks. I’m cutting back on purchases that involve plastic, damn it! I love the planet, I hate that we’re so reliant on oil, and I hate that plastic items are taking over the freaking oceans and waterways.

After listening to Planet Money’s five part series on oil a few months ago (especially episode 4 – “How Oil Got Into Everything”), I decided I had to do better. I never realized how much oil is used in almost everything: shoes, phones, medicine, and one of the biggest – PLASTIC. We can bitch about oil pipelines in the U.S., oil companies drilling in our oceans, and oil spills on our land, but until we stop spending money on all the damn things that oil is used for, we’re not going to make any headway. We’ve gotta start somewhere, so I’m starting with plastic.

I’ve been really trying to avoid things packaged in plastic lately because it’s fu**ing everywhere. One of the things that’s bugged me most is its prevalence in the grocery store. Yay for cutting out plastic bags at the checkout, but when every piece of produce is wrapped in it, I don’t know if we’re doing much different.

Here’s what happened last week when I went to the grocery and specifically tried NOT to purchase anything wrapped in plastic. This was also semi-documented on Instagram stories that day…

Goal 1: To not put anything that doesn’t come in plastic INTO plastic bags. Check!

It’s like we can’t have our produce touching… or if we don’t bag it, it’ll fly everywhere in our carts. Turns out, it can sit in the cart just like everything else. We wash it anyway when we get home. I laid down my canvas grocery bags to keep them from falling out of the cart.

Some things even have paper bags for you to grab the smaller items: 

I’ve been buying mushrooms for a while now and always grabbed the pre-packaged ones on the top shelf. I’ve never noticed that there are bulk ones just below it that you can bag in paper yourself until I made a point to look for them… Next step: bring a different bag so I can cut out using paper bags.

Goal 2: Seeking out the naked produce, sometimes far away from the wrapped kind. Check!

The bell peppers in plastic are right next to the bell peppers not in plastic, so those were easy… but some things I had to search for. Turns out, there weren’t ANY cucumbers in the entire store not wrapped in plastic, so I just decided to buy something else instead. Zucchini it is!

 I had to go searching for un-bagged and although it was across the section from where I normally get my spinach, I’d bought green beans right next to it before. I’d walked by it dozens of times and never noticed it. Duh. But now I know. Plus, the same amount was cheaper than the bagged kind.

Goal 3: Coming out of the store plastic-free. Fail. 

It’s amazing how much shit comes in plastic. While I was going for a fully plastic-free cart, I ended up with a few things that I didn’t have a solution for: Yogurt, cheese tortellini, the bin of honey, the seal around the salad dressing lid. I even thought I was being good by purchasing bar soap that came in boxes… until I got home and noticed that all 3 bars were individually wrapped in plastic. Son of a bitch…

Goal 4: Do better. Check!

“Not a total Betty, but a vast improvement.”

Although I didn’t fully succeed in a plastic-free grocery run, I definitely cut back on the plastic that we usually buy, so that’s better. Imagine if everybody did that? But I can see this is going to be a challenge…

However, things won’t change unless we make a conscious effort to change our own habits and demand better from who we buy our things from. Goodness knows revenue makes a big difference. The more we pay attention to what we’re using, the more retailers will as well. They won’t stock the shelves with things that aren’t selling. I’m also writing some letters to store managers moving forward, you can do this simply by leaving them a note at the customer service counter. One person speaking up won’t make a difference, but if several people talk, and keep the conversations going, it may. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? I’m not saying we can totally cut it out by tomorrow, but being aware of all plastic everywhere definitely opened my eyes. I promise today to do better.

Anybody else with me?

 

Shoutouts:

Sweden: You might have read that Sweden is now laser printing code numbers on produce to cut back on sticker usage (which is great).

Lisa A.: When I shared the above Sweden article on Facebook, my friend Lisa shared the link to these washable produce bags from MightyNest. If you do want your produce separated or just confined to one area of your shopping cart, these may be a solution. I’ll be getting some of these, I think.

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Introducing “Fit Body: Core” from Flash Fit Clubs

Want a stronger core? Got 15 minutes?

Introducing the new Fit Body Series from Flash Fit Clubs. These workouts are stand-alone workouts focusing on one area of the body and can be done on their own, or in addition to the other Flash Fit Clubs programming. The first one released in this series is the Core workout. It’s a quick and effective workout that will target your abs, obliques, low back, and hips.  There are 3 rounds that take exactly 15 minutes to complete, and can be repeated if you have time. And it’s just $9.99.

Includes:

  • Real Time Instructional Workout Video
  • Printable PDF
  • Workout Timer

GET IT HERE 

Most gyms are equipped with a TRX Suspension Trainer (you can ask the front desk if you’re not sure) so you can rock out your workout as a warm up or at the end of your usual session. If you’d like you’re own set of straps, you can get any model for 15% off on the TRX website.

Video Extras: See if you can name the theme song at the beginning (since I don’t have one my own yet), and stick around for the blooper reel at the end. You’d think filming a 20 second intro wouldn’t be that hard…

#BeABeast

*Not available in Canada yet. Gotta get my work permit approved before I can sell to Canadians. Sorry! I’ll announce when that’s changed though!

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Recipe: Sweet Potato Fries. And a meal for your week!

Photo & Recipe from JamieOliver.com

Any time I cook, I try to be efficient AF. If we’re baking something in the oven, we’re also going to bake a side dish… because that’s less work. Since sweet potatoes were on sale for $.79 (holla!) at the grocery this week, I decided to try Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Sweet Potato Fries. I’ve never tried to make them before but it was crazy easy. You slice ’em, season ’em, and pop those bitches in the oven for a total of 3 whole minutes of preparation.

> > Shoutout to Sandy Webster for the Spanish Style Smoked Paprika (she sent us a bunch of Penzey’s spices as a wedding gift)!

Since our salmon (we use this recipe) needed to be baked at 375 degrees (fahrenheit) for 35-45 minutes and the potatoes needed to baked at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, I’d planned on having to leave the potatoes in for 10 extra minutes to soften up, but they were good to go at the 35 minute mark too. Double score! We cut up an avocado to round it out and BAM: Dinner.

The salmon cost me $18 (depending on where you live, this might be cheaper for you), the potato was $.79, and avocado was $2. So the hubs and I ate dinner for just over $10 per person (This is in Canadian currency, which would equal under $16 for U.S.). And since it made enough food for 4 people, we could have fed the kids on this too.

Real food (and easy cooking) for the win!

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Life. Currently

It’s a big night. We leave for Hawaii for a family vacation in the morning. We live an hour away from the airport so we drove in to the city tonight. Our flight is at 6am (woof) and we have to be there to check in and check bags at 4:15, so the 3:30am wake up tomorrow morning is gonna be a rough one. It’s totally worth it though. I’m stoked to go to Hawaii, as I’ve never been to the big island before and am looking forward to sun on my skin for the next week. We’ve used our hotel points to book the first two nights, then we’re camping all around the island for the next four days, then using hotel points again for our final night (goodness knows we’ll all need showers by that point). All that being said, here’s what else is going on currently:

Making: Last minute checks through the luggage to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. But really, I’ve got swim suits, flip flops and sunscreen… so I’m good.

Wanting: To be able to take Tango with me on all trips. I hate leaving him behind. I mean… look at that face up there! He was ignoring me and tucking himself into a ball when we left the house tonight. Daggers straight through the heart, man.

Reading: Just finished The Underground Railroad. Still working on iLearning (work books take longer)

Watching: The Final Four games! Gonzaga’s win just now declares me the victor of both my bracket challenges: the one with Fraser (the most important, because of The Bet) and my San Diego bracket for dollars!

Listening: To the S-Town podcast! YOU GUYS. Are you listening? I’m on Chapter 4 of 7. Hoping to be finished in the next couple days. Can’t wait to discuss fully. I keep having to scroll past all threads on Facebook to avoid spoilers.

Drinking: Nothing fancy now, but I’m planning on some Mai Tai’s in about 24 hours. *Heart eye emoji*

Eating: We ordered pizza because we’re in the airport hotel tonight.

Enjoying: Less and less snow by the day. Spring’s on its way up north! (I feel like this is a permanent answer for this spot for the next several months)

Hoping: For safe, smooth travels this week. Keep the fingers crossed we don’t need our first aid kit…

Needing: To get to sleep. 3:30am is going to come quickly.

Feeling: Like Moana tonight. We played the soundtrack on the way to the hotel!

Wearing: Pajamas now, but a swim suit, shorts, and tank every day this week.

Noticing: This Oregon team’s tenacity. They’ve had a great tournament. I was secretly rooting for them tonight. Sorry UNC buds.

Pinning: This article my BFF sent me from the Guardian: Protest & Persist.

Wishing: We could have the rest of our families with us on this trip!

Loving: That this will be our vacation with me as a part of the family. #allthefeels

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