Sustainable You!

by Sabrena on April 21, 2011

I want to welcome M&T’s newest regular contributor, Sabrena. She’s a long time friend, an amazing writer, and passionate about our world around us. She’s going to be here once a month sharing how she’s trying to live a more sustainable life and offering up a challenge to us all, something small, where we too can be passionate about the world around us. And how fitting that tomorrow is Earth day. Welcome, Sabrena.

In the immortal words of international man of mystery Austin Powers: “Allow myself, to introduce myself.”

A few random things you should know about me:

  • I don’t believe in fat-free anything (especially, and unfortunately, when it comes to my thighs)
  • I don’t hug trees – too often.
  • I’ve used paper napkins.
  • My husband often laments I think all problems can be solved through diet (small “d”) and yoga.
  • My kid occasionally wears disposable diapers, and I think Mother Earth is still my friend regardless.
  • I can get a bit obsessive about learning and education (and on occasion, things like breast milk)
  • Sometimes I get this feeling that I was born to contribute greatness to the world, and then I start the day cleaning my toddler’s potty.

Ok so why do I share this? Because like many of you, I’m a Mom just trying to do her best: figuring out how to educate, nurture and provide for her kids while trying to keep house, be a sex goddess in the bedroom and manage a part-time business (ok, I may just be a yoga instructor but it’s technically “work.”)

But I’ve been concerned about environmental issues on some level my entire life. From planting trees on Earth Day in Elementary School to bouts of militant vegetarianism and veganism in college, but you can chalk the rabbit-food-thing up to reading too much PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) propaganda.

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I began to understand that one of, if not, THE single most important things we can do for ourselves, our families and the environment has to do with what we put into our bodies in form of nourishment. For years I had been so concerned with what I was slathering, dabbing, bronzing, painting etc on the outside of me, I failed to think about the true impact of what I was putting inside of me.

When our first child Holden arrived, we wanted to keep the kid as pure and non-toxic as possible (figuratively and literally.) We painted the house with non-VOC paints, ditched the toxic cleaning products and invested in a butt-load of cloth diapers (yes, pun intended). Likewise, it became blatantly apparent why so many parents were crazy-concerned about keeping processed sugar and the like from their children. So I nursed him, made organic baby food and felt like a little piece of me would die the first time someone gave him a non-organic grape; or worse, a Goldfish snack cracker! Yes, I now realize I was very hormonal, but still…

It was also a wake-up call that once he transitioned from purees to people food, I was going to need to make some changes if he’d be joining us at the dinner table.

Then around this time, we watched Food, Inc. We were outraged, inspired and vowed to do better. Well, I vowed to do better. Hubs figured he was stuck along for the ride. So we made little changes that, combined, became bigger changes; and that was the beginning of our journey. It continues. I hope you’ll join us for the ride.

The Challenge

So with this opportunity to talk about sustainable eating & living for yourself, your family and the environment, I’m going to offer a monthly challenge. It may be a recipe to cook, finding your local farmer’s market or it may be like this month’s bit where I’m going to ask you to plop yourself in front of the t.v. and watch Food, Inc.  If you’ve already seen it, watch it again. Don’t be overwhelmed. Just think and process, and know your journey’s beginning too.

Images via PATA and Food, Inc.

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