We’re nineteen days into our abstinence from consumerism – so how is it going? What are we missing? Any slip-ups?
Each of us has expressed a desire for some food that has not been prepared in our kitchen. My youngest wants sandwiches on white bread with hula hoop crisps to accompany. Jez wants to go out for a luxurious meal at our favourite veggie restaurant in Brighton partly to eat amazing food but also to avoid the washing up for a night! And create washing up we have done. In a normal month we eat little processed food anyway but never before have we made so much washing up. It seems that when everything is prepared from scratch, at least double the amount of time is spent in the kitchen. Which can be tricky when you have a business to run and two home educated daughters to inspire. Yesterday whilst making a load of breads and pies and stuff to last for a couple of days I made salt dough too, for the girls to get creative with. We also boiled up some beet juice to make pink food colouring and the salt dough creations look really gorgeous in shades of pink and white.
As for me, I seem to get a brief burning desire for things that normally I wouldn’t feel too bothered about. It passes quite quickly and sometimes I don’t get affected at all. At the weekend we went to Wakehurst Place as we have Kew membership (so free to get in!) and the shop there is great. I really enjoy noodling round gift shops in these sorts of places. I saw plenty of nice things that would make great Christmas pressies. And yet, walking around I felt so liberated. Completely freed from having to make a decision on any of this STUFF. Which is essentially what it was, albeit very nice stuff.
And on to slip-ups. Have we had any? Well yes, last week we had a home ed trip pre-organised and despite lots of creative ideas about how we could get there and get in without paying in money, but using other resources instead, we ended up parting with cash. Yep, I spent over Â£10 that day; on entrance to the fort and also on public transport home. So we didn’t actually buy anything physical but we bought experiences and it still felt as though I was ‘breaking the rules’. To our credit we did have a crazy packed lunch of things like sprouted seeds and pieces of dried fruit that we ate alongside friends availing themselves of cafÃ© fare.
So, that’s where we at at the moment – 11 days to go…
Well the Heavenly Cake Company must be busy little bees if their testimonials are anything to go by. They make vegan birthday cakes and celebration cakes with 100% coconut oil, which owner Luzolo believes is the healthiest oil on earth. Apart from the range of gluten free cakes, their cakes are made with organic spelt flour; an ancient flour used by the ancient Egyptians and Romans, also known as the ‘mother’ of wheat. It contains more protein and fibre than wheat and also has ingredients which stimulate the body’s immune system. Even though it contains gluten, it can often be tolerated by gluten intolerant people because it is whole and unadulterated. I like the sound of their Chocolate Love cake, which is apparently melt-in-the-mouth good. Hopefully I’ll find them at a vegan fayre next year.
It’s been nearly two weeks and we have not succumbed to any of the temptations of acquiring more stuff – yet! As I mentioned previously this is chiefly to do with the fact that we live in the sticks but we have had to brave the lure of internet shopping daily! I have run out of tape and am feeling a bit under the weather. Dosing myself up on lots of honey and lemon drinks and wearing lots of scarfs! So I thought I’d use today’s post to write about health.
The average person spends Â£137 on medicine a year in the UK. Although some of this is necessary all too often we seek quick fixes from pills so that we can ‘get on’ with our lives.
BE AWARE OF THOUGHTS – Being aware of your thoughts and how you react to things can have a profound effect on your health. Positive thinking instantly lifts our spirits and gives us more space to seek out an alternative.
TRY AN ALTERNATIVE There are a growing number of alternative practitioners in many different fields. Ask friends for recommendations and notice what form of treatment you feel drawn to. I would advise building up a bank of alternative practitioners that can support your family’s health and wellbeing. You might want to consider homeopathy, reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine, herbalism or cranial sacral therapy for example.
BE YOUR OWN DOCTOR Our bodies are incredible organisms that strive to create health – they are always working in that direction, to be healthy. If you are unwell and you sit quietly with your thoughts, you can find out what is the problem and what your body needs in order to effectively heal. Just be willing to dialogue with the disease or the part of the body that is suffering.
LOOK OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT DOOR Many herbalists believe that the plants that a family needs for health are growing around the house or in the local environment. What is growing outside your front door? Mint is good for digestive troubles, lavender for aiding relaxation, sage to soothe a sore throat.
HYDRATE YOURSELF Many headaches are caused by dehydration. Ty to drink around 2 litres of water a day. A glass of water with lemon juice first thing in the morning is a cleansing start to the day. Every time you walk past the kitchen tap, fill a small glass and drink it.
To your good health!
This time it’s all about the fabulous Raw Gaia and their yummy living skincare. When raw foodie Lisa Lennon couldn’t find a chemical free moisturiser to soothe her dry skin she started to experiment in her kitchen. She utilised the principles of her raw food diet to create a vegan skin cream, packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Lisa created the first ever ‘living’ skincare product, ‘For Her Daughters Living Moisturiser‘, (Â£12.50 for a 60ml jar) handmade through a special low temperature process, using only organic cold-pressed butters and oils. Raw Gaia now sells a range of beauty products made with 100% organic, living and vegan ingredients. We like the selection of articles on their website about aging, detoxing the bathroom and the importance of deep sleep for radiant skin.
Hey, good morning everyone!
Just a quick post to say that we’re on day twelve and all is well. The fact that the sun is shining makes a big difference! I also wanted to post that I LOVE my job. Am just planning and putting together a fairtrade edition to come out in January and am very excited about all the projects and ideas that I am reading about and the people that I am speaking to. Discovered a Canadian based eco mama yesterday who runs an online homebirth supplies store and also provides natural birthing kits for women in Uganda through a programme that she and some friends have set up.
The programme is dedicated to helping children, women and communities in Uganda find peace and health. They believe that in order to overcome trauma and conflict in a community, first people need to heal and uplift their bodies, minds and spirits. Shanti Uganda aims to provide the tools needed to support inner peace and wellbeing, encourage conscious birth (in a country where medicalised birth has taken its toll and many of the traditional practices lost) and manifest health, happiness and community.
Some of the initiatives include running yoga classes and art workshops to aid trauma release and providing luna washable pads to the young women. The latest project was to build a chicken coop next to the school so that the school children could have fresh eggs for breakfast. An organic farm and birthing centre are planned for the Community Centre that they are hoping to build. All in all – an inspiring vision and one that brings a real sense of hope that such pockets of light exist around the world.
Welcome to the new blog from the Green Parent office. Here we'll talk about what's going on in the small and quite leafy headquarters of the UK's leading green lifestyle magazine. We'll share news that interests us and talk about green issues and natural parenting. We'll share advice and information from our own experiences of living a green lifestyle. And we'll even tell you what we are reading, eating, drinking and thinking. Hope you get plenty of food for thought here.