Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Food, Inc.

Be forewarned....this is a LONG post full of my opinion.....just so ya know! ;D

I just thought I'd share this trailer for the new movie/documentary about the food we eat. So many people wonder (as I've recently heard through the local grapevine) why we like to:

eat fresh foods

eat as much organic as possible

why we have a garden to grow our own food

why we have laying hens for eggs and even chickens for harvesting

why we are considering getting our own cow for beef (because local supermarkets only sell beef from Mexico, Uruguay, China, Canada, and New Zealand....all in the same 2 lb. package, mind you.)

why I don't eat fish from the supermarket (did you know that the majority is farm raised in China and India among other countries?)

why we don't eat out in restaurants and most of the time, pass on restaurant invites....

why I hardly buy processed, boxed or canned items at the grocery store

why I check the label on every item I buy to see the country of origin. Did you realize most of the apple juice, among other juices, sold in the US comes from China? Seriously...check your package.

why I cook from scratch

why I think eating this way is so very important for the futures of
my children's health and for my own health

why it disturbs me that we, as Americans, find ourselves being tricked by the food manufacturers, are being given wrong nutritional information, are spending at least 1/4 of our lives sitting in a doctor's office, we are staying sick and we don't know why.

These are the questions that propel me to take the hard route (not as hard as you'd think) when it comes to food preparation and consumption. These are the questions that make me pass up the packaged chips ahoy and yummy bacon and sausage, never buy fish from the store, never buy canned goods to stock my pantry (with the exception of my hurricane box), why I only buy organic peanut butter after nearly being knocked out by the strong dose of chemical pesticides sprayed on the huge crop growing right across the street from my house (who knows what we're inhaling in our own backyard), why we go at least one day a week without meat and sometimes two.

No, I don't grow everything we eat, but I do as much as I can. No, I don't adhere to these tips I've typed out here 100% of the time....we splurge on birthdays and holidays and at times when we just "feel like it." I buy boxed macaroni and cereal and canned soup in the wintertime and I love canned baked beans when we barbecue. Eventhough we avoid pork products the majority of the time, when we eat grilled hamburgers, I will occasionally buy bacon to have with them and I admit that I LOVE a good piece of my mother in law's baked ham at Christmas. We eat out very rarely, but a few times a year, we enjoy eating in a restaurant and to be honest, if restaurant service and food was better, I'd probably eat out more often. But I hate sitting in a restaurant eating terrible food and enduring even worse service....I'd rather save my money and eat at home.

Am I a health nut? No. Believe me, I've got issues! Am I fanatical about any of this? No. Do I try to make the best decisions I can on a day to day basis? Absolutely.

Click over to the Food, Inc. official website to learn about the issues, learn about 10 simple tips to help change our food system, visit their blog here, as well as learn many other things about our food industry and ways to make better choices for yourself and your family.

Have you ever seen Supersize Me, a documentary put out in 2004 by Morgan Spurlock? If not, I encourage you to click here to see the trailer and you can even watch the entire documentary for free.....you won't believe some of the things you'll discover! I have to say it was the one thing that affected me so incredibly deeply.....the one thing that made a life-changing impact for me. It was the documentary that stopped me in my fast food tracks and gave me such a desire to do better....for myself and my family.

"We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou.


It's funny, I didn't sit down with the intention of writing this blog post. I merely ran across the Food, Inc. video trailer that I had been waiting for and all this just hit me. All the talking and the comments, especially those here close to home, just hit me because I think some people may think I'm a little weird because of my views on food and life in general. I realized that much of the "talk" is because so many haven't stopped to educate themselves and don't realize what is going on with the foods we eat. And, for that matter, what's going on with our chemical detergents and household cleaners, pesticides and fungicides.......the list can go on for a very long time. I think for so many, it is just easier to ignore it and keep on going with what we're used to. I however, being the type of person who refuses to be stuck in a box and labeled for any reason, think change of this fashion is going to necessary to counteract our steadily failing health in the US.

Making many changes in this way certainly doesn't mean that you eat icky, flavorless foods. It doesn't mean that you will never be satisfied. It doesn't mean that you'll spend more money. It doesn't mean that you can't still churn out your own junk food. It certainly doesn't mean that you'll magically lose any weight and turn into the picture of health, LOL....that much I know for sure! ;D Seriously, it doesn't mean that you're going to be home-bound and turn into some frumpy old garden lady who can't do more than pull weeds all day, LOL! You can eat all the things you love, but you can do it in a way that will prove healthier for you and your family. If your kids want brownies or cookies or popsicles or ice cream, make them yourself...besides, it's more fun that way! If you buy prepackaged items, read the labels and buy the best choice you can afford. Plant a garden, get your kids involved and enjoy the harvest. It teaches them the value of hard work, persistence, and the value of reaping what you sow. Freeze or can your excess harvest to eat later in the year....it is NOT hard to do nor does it take a lot of time.

I guess my whole point is that we need to learn as much as we can about what we're eating and try to make the best decisions we can based on what we've learned. Should we be fanatical about it? No. Should we let it alter our lifestyles drastically? No. I think everyone should make the best decisions they can at a rate with which they're comfortable. I think every little change will be beneficial to everyone from the personal and family levels to the national level where eventually those in the decision making roles will understand that we Americans expect better quality food to nourish the bodies of ourselves and those we care about.

I also know that this post is based solely on my own personal opinion and I know that opinions vary and that is what makes the world go 'round. I know that for some people, they really couldn't care less about these issues and that is okay! It's all about personal decisions and we all have differences. This post is certainly not meant to offend anyone, it is just a large collection of ramblings from my very passionate heart. These ideas and lifestyle changes are important to me and my family and I just thought I'd toss them out here on my personal blog.

I mostly wanted to put this information out there so that others may better understand me and why I do the things I do, why I live the way I live, and give those around me a peek into my not-so-square box. For me personally, there is a very deep spiritual connection to this way of living and thinking. I find myself closer to God when I'm doing things in a more natural way than at any other time. And for me, that is most important!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Love is like a butterfly:  It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes.

Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lady June

looking up.

"What is one to say about June,
the time of perfect young summer,
the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months,
and with as yet no sign to remind one that its
fresh young beauty will ever fade."

~Gertrude Jekyll

I love the colors of June.
The bright, golden light,
the vivid blooms,
the green grass,
the blue skies and
fluffy white clouds.

What are the things you love about June,
our beautiful escort into summer?

Monday, June 8, 2009

bench monday.....flower child edition

bench monday

I just wanted to share this week's Bench Monday shot. Claire wanted to get in on all this fun bench action lately, so we headed out with the camera, found this cute little kiddie bench at my mom's house with all those yellow blooms engulfing it (and everything else in its beautiful path) and we knew we'd found the right place for a fun Bench Monday shot. I loved the yellow flowers and all that golden, late afternoon light filtering in behind her. Her little skirt and dirty, bare feet were cute too :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

unfolding her treasures.....

"Nature is man's teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence". ~Alfred Billings Street

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June." ~L.M. Montgomery

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.  ~Henry David Thoreau

nature's perfume....

i heart mushrooms ;)


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Post Card....

Can miles truly separate you from friends.... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?  ~Richard Bach

Can miles truly separate you from friends....
If you want to be with someone you love,
aren't you already there?

~Richard Bach

My first entry to SPC's new theme for June....shoes!

After I uploaded this shot it reminded me of someone just sitting in the grass on a warm summer afternoon at a park perhaps.....waiting on a friend to arrive. They'd probably greet each other with a hug and sit down to share a picnic lunch together over some cool lemonade. Then they'd share in a really long heart to heart conversation full of tears and lots of those great belly-laughs and they'd wonder why they don't get together to do this more often. They'd eventually say their goodbyes and go on their separate ways knowing that a friend is one of life's biggest blessings.

Monday, June 1, 2009

bench monday....again!

Bench Monday!

Last week I was just not feeling in the mood for blogging or anything else for that matter. But, today I finally pushed myself up and out to get a bench monday shot for this week. You know how some days (or weeks) can be.

They leave you with nothing...
no eyes for inspiration
no motivation
a no-care attitude
a mind racing in a million directions at once
feeling completely overwhelmed
and having a downright depressed mood

That has been me lately. All of the above. Yes, sad but true :(

I tend to go through these phases sometimes and this is one of them. Uggh. I don't know what else to do but make myself get up and get in motion. And, stop eating junk food because I'd be kidding myself if I said that hasn't become a haunting problem lately as well as the root cause for all the symptoms listed above :-/ I love the sweet stuff...too much...even when I know just how damaging the effects can be on my mind and body. Why is that?! As I type that out into words I'm thinking - wow...I must be crazy! Some things in this life will never make sense I guess.

Perhaps just putting this minute fraction of my feelings into words will spark something and make me snap out of it. I really want to get back on track and make myself feel better. I want to exercise and eat right and it is SO true that the hardest part is the beginning.

Now, my mind is saying.....where do you go from here?....are you crazy for bringing up something so personal?.....why would anyone care?......etc.

But, the real me is thinking that we've all been here before, in one way or another. Life is full of struggles and trying to figure out the best way to handle them. We're really all connected in more ways than we know. We're all looking for inspiration and motivation and a listening ear. We all have a reality that is uniquely our own.....and this is part of my reality.

So there, my quick bench monday post turned into an emotional dumping ground, but sometimes that will just have to do. Tomorrow is another day, you know :) And tomorrow marks the beginning of our new Self Portrait Challenge theme....shoes, so you may be seeing more of my feet than you bargained for! :-D

So, until tomorrow - I'll leave you with these words from John Mayer....(from his inspiring twitter post yesterday morning....

"There's always a moment on a trip when you decide you want to go home. Fight it. Because beyond that moment lies the best parts"