Monday, May 10, 2010

Beating (But Not Eating!) a Dead Horse

I thought I would give a little update on how we're doing with the food thing.

I'm still a little surprised to find myself still so caught up in the organic/whole-food craze. I was really caught off guard when my mom announced that she made two casseroles: one with meat, and one without, for me and my uncle's vegetarian wife. Huh? Since when do I require a meatless entrée? I was surprised until I thought about it and realized I hadn't eaten any meat in a week. Not because I'm a vegetarian. I'm not. But, because I decided to limit my family's meat intake (ask Chris how happy he is about this)and to make the meat we DO eat, hormone and antibiotic free, grass-fed, organic, blah, blah, blah.

I know. I'm finding myself a tad obnoxious, too.

It's weird because my sister has been advocating for dietary changes like this for years. And, I want to give her credit. She has made me much more aware of my impact on the environment and about the food that I consume. She's the reason I buy fair trade coffee. She's why I started questioning where my meat comes from and why I buy organic milk.

But, I'm also lazy, and I also happen to love fast food. So, even though it wasn't without a twinge of guilt, over the last few years I've consumed many a Big Mac, wastefully Swiffered my way across my kitchen floor, and nuggeted my baby up, McDonald's style.

I'm not sure what exactly made me snap, but boy have I snapped! I've replaced all my cleaning supplies with Seventh Generation stuff (I'm sure it would be better to just clean everything with vinegar, but I have my limits), I'm cooking stuff like quinoa and soy chorizo (which, incidentally, even Chris says tastes EXACTLY like its greasy, pork counterpart), and I vow not to feed any more fast food to Charlotte until she is old enough to ask for it, and even then, it will be a RARE occurrence.

It hasn't been easy. It took about a week for the fast food demons to leave my body, enabling me to not crave it all the time. I drove an hour to go to a farmer's market so I could get not only fresh, but more importantly (for environmental reasons) local produce, and I spend eternities in the kitchen.

Seriously, throwing away some Jack in the Box wrappers or tossing a frozen lasagna into the oven takes, what? A few minutes? I swear, we spend hours every day in our kitchen. Charlotte runs around or gets into the Tupperware cabinet, or else Chris is feeding her in her booster seat, while I chop, steam, boil, sauté, blend, etc. And the dishes. Oh, how I loathe the dishes! And the thing I hate most is thinking I'm done, and upon triumphantly leaving the kitchen, seeing Charlotte's damn tray, smeared with yogurt or, worse, covered in dried bits of broccoli. Scraping that stuff off is the bane of my existence.

But, like I said, I do have my limits. I certainly didn't turn down the Chinese take-out at my in-laws' house yesterday because I didn't know where the meat came from. Nor did I balk when Chris shared a cupcake with Charlotte today. It's all about moderation. Something I've always tried to practice, but have only recently been any good at.

Why am I telling you all this? I don't know. I'm not trying to be sanctimonious. Being more health and environmentally conscious just happens to be something new in my life, something I am proud of because I work really hard at it.

I hope I can maintain this lifestyle. Too often in the past, I've gotten all excited about something, and it's fizzled before I even began. I hope that the desire to set an example for my child to respect her body and the planet will trump the desire for convenience and delicious trans fats.

There's no trans fats in wine, right?


  1. Good for you, moderation is key! The CSA co-op I belong to delivers from a farm in Bakersfield. I am surprised they don't deliver to the AV. Are there no farmer's markets in the area?

  2. You are so right about the dishes! It is so hard to keep up. I think you can eat sustainably though and still eat meat. We do.

  3. kb- We have a small farmer's market in the AV, but it doesn't start until June, and it's really more of a novelty. You certainly couldn't by ALL your produce there. So, I went to one in Newhall that happens Thursday evenings, and I can also goto one in Valencia on Sundays. But, I really would like to find one closer.

    As for the co-op, I really haven't done too much research on that yet, so maybe they do deliver to the AV! Any info you have would be appreciated!

    Brooke- Oh, we're totally still eating meat. It's more about just making sure it's (mostly) the good stuff, which is harder to come by.

  4. Everything in moderation, including moderation.

    - andrew

  5. Soyrizo is really good, I've been saying that for years! Just did a CSA search for you, and the closet place they deliver is like 100 miles away. You're doing great, and it seems like this is really important to you, so I'm sure despite slips here and there, your going to keep with it.

  6. Thanks for looking into that, Ally. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. :)

    LOL, Andrew.