Green on the inside

June 4, 2009

greencleaning

I often talk about the myriad ways we can green our lifestyles — drinking tap water from a reusable stainless steel bottle (although, I actually just switched from my aluminum Sigg to a Kleen Kanteen after learning that the company still won’t reveal what they line their bottles with, but that’s a whole other story), changing lightbulbs to CFLs (well, technically we should be moving towards LEDs because there have been some sketchy reports about the mercury and whatnot in CFLs and personally I hate the glare that fluorescent bulbs give off, so the only CFLs in my house are either outside or in a closet), or … wait… I forget what I was trying to say.

Oh yeah! My point is: It’s all very well to make these external changes, but it’s just as important to be green on the inside. We should be thinking about our actions, of course, but we also need to think about what we put into our bodies. If you want to follow this green-on-the-inside advice in the literal sense, I highly recommend Meghan’s green smoothie cleanse, which starts this weekend. This is NOT one of those sketchy juice fasts or lemonade-and-cayenne-pepper detoxes, and it doesn’t involve endless weeks upon endless weeks of cabbage soup. It’s actually pretty simple: You just make a series of smoothies for a few days that are loaded with healthy vegetables — no protein powders. You can download an incredibly thorough tutorial about why these smoothies are so beneficial to your skin, heart, immune system, etc., and Meghan will even be Twittering (or tweeting… whatever) support for everyone along the way.

But what I think is extra great about this particular cleanse — and this comes from someone who is pretty much anti-cleansing; in fact, anti-anything that screws with my routine or prevents me from drinking red wine — is that it’s garbage-free, which makes it green on entirely different level. All of the ingredients are whole foods like kale, spinach and parsley, which can be purchased in the produce aisle of your nearest grocery store or farmer’s market with no packaging whatsoever; and if you want to take the smoothie out with you to work or to a picnic, you can pour it into a reusable cup or bottle. Everything you don’t throw into the blender can go into the compost bin.

Even if you don’t sign up for this, it’s kind of fun to take at least one day a week and try to create no garbage whatsoever, especially when it comes to food. Some items are always difficult to purchase without reams of plastic attached (I’m thinking of berries, in particular, which come in those unrecyclable cases), but this is actually the perfect excuse to go out and get a blueberry bush for the garden. My boy and I got one a few days ago and named it Boris. I’ll keep you updated on its vital stats.

Speaking of packaging, I will say this: Sometimes it’s unavoidable, so don’t beat yourself up over the occasional indulgence — after all, even Meg and I will succumb to certain food or enviro vices at times. For instance, at a friend’s wedding recently, we both got a little peckish before dinner, and in unison reached into our purses and pulled out two food bars. Here’s the photographic documentation:

peckishnerds

Admittedly, they were both raw, unprocessed, preservative-free, [insert a few other hippie-and-nutritionist-friendly terms here] food bars, so it wasn’t as though we were secretly noshing on Cheetos. But still, my aim is to be at least 90% on-target with all my green goals and values, so although I allow the occasional pre-packaged nonsense, I always try to make up for it with something like a garbage-free weekend.

With that, happy cleansing! Or just happy green-eating and garbage-minimizing in general! There’s no such thing as too much loose, organic kale, people… no such thing…

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Three things I love about Meghan’s sprouting video

January 21, 2009

My friend Meghan, a fashionista-turned-nutritionista, has been posting lots of How-To videos on her blog, Making Love in the Kitchen. Most of them I just like to watch, rather than actually attempt myself (I’m thinking specifically of the sauerkraut demo that requires 10 minutes of massaging cabbage and the chicken soup that involves raw bones and scum). But her most recent video, called Sprout, Sprout, Let It All Out, is very cool. You can watch it here:

There are three things about this video that I love:

  1. The costume changes. On most cooking shows, if the host makes something that requires a few hours to sit or cool or whatever, she will have conveniently made a previous batch ahead of time to pull out of the fridge (and will usually say something like, “… I have one ready, here,” and suddenly presto! It’s done and there’s no actual waiting required. But Meghan has clearly produced this sprouting demo over the span of three or four days, and we get lots of variation in her wardrobe and hairstyles to prove it. Actually, I think there’s a direct correlation between the growth of her sprouts and the curliness of her hair.
  2. The I’ve Been Re-Used sticker on her kitchen soap dispenser (which I designed, and which you can order online over here. Stick them on anything you refill at the bulk store and let the world know you’re not consuming more plastic).
  3. The Sprouting! It actually does seem very easy and it’s probably the most nutritious, eco-friendly thing a Canadian girl can make in the comfort of her own home during this heinous winter.

Do you guys make your own sprouts, too? Any favourite beans or seeds?