This year I pledge to eat more plant based food and less meat. No, I'm not turning into a vegan, or even a vegetarian, I just want to be more conscious as to what ends up on my plate, and I also want to do that "good thing" for my planet and those who inhabit it. But the biggest reason behind such move are my girls, one just turned 5 and the other will be 7 in June. I believe that THIS IS the right time to show them, teach them and "plant that seed for the future", when it comes to eating habits and somewhat concern about our environment and the world we're living in.
There's also the case of hen egg intolerance in my younger girl... So baking and cooking can be sometimes a little challenge.
My girls are already well aware that most of the plastic ends up in our Oceans, where it harms and kills sea animals and birds. I want them to know, but most of all UNDERSTAND that all their actions have consequences, that whatever they'll do will have some kind of impact on the world (near and far) that they're living in. It's not something completely new in our house. I'm proud to say that my kids will never litter, what's more, they would even pick up after someone (shame on you!). Their diet is already varied - they will eat smoked fish (like mackerel), they eat all kinds of fruit and vegetables (like cabbage, pickled cucumbers etc.), they will eat staples like buckwheat, lentils, different beans or things like barley. Of course, they love their spaghetti or pizza, and sugar treats in all their forms and shapes, but they are open to other things too. There's a rule in our house - you don't have to like it, but you have to at least try it (after which they usually admit that it's"yummy").
So bottom line, more plant based foods on our plate is to eat healthier, hopefully spend less in the process and do our bit (however small) for the environment, animals, as well as those good and honest farmers (which thankfully are there!). I'm all for quality life for all the animals, big and small (from chicken to cow!). It breaks my heart to see photos, videos where you see the conditions they're sometimes living in - not an inch of space to even turn around, no one is cleaning their enclosures and some of them never ever see a sunlight! That's beyond appalling...!
We would absolutely love to keep our own hens, maybe even a goat or two and few pigs, but as it is now, where we live, it's not possible. It is something thought that we're working towards to.
Besides food there's also a concern for the Planet, as a whole. I officially banned in our house the use of small plastic bags to store our food (both fresh, cooked and any leftovers). Over the years we have accumulated so many different containers (glass and plastic) and it's high time to finally use them.
No more bottled water! I can't stress that enough - NO MORE bottled water. What's wrong with the tap one? What we do in our house is that we simply boil the tap water and then keep it a glass bottle (which always sits next to our kettle). We use that water to drink, make juice and fill the girls' bottles for school lunches. It costs so much to produce bottled water - energy, water (to actually produce it, let alone fill that bottle), and then of course you're left with that plastic bottle, and how many of us don't bother with recycling...? Huh?
Come spring I'll be planting more flowers in our garden, more than usual, I'm thinking of actually doing a small research to find out the kinds of flowers that are "bees friendly" - those little guys need all the help we can give them! We all like our honey on a warm toast or in our porridge, don't we...?
Of course we'll plant different vegetables and herbs, as we do every year, and our fruit plants (blueberries, currants, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries) will give us an even bigger crop than the last year!
Just recently I've discovered something called reducetarianism - a movement that promotes eating less meat, eggs and dairy. It's just up my alley, as I simply know that I would not be able to be a full vegan/vegetarian, but I do want to limit my consumption of meat (for many reasons, but for equally many I don't want to eliminate it completely from my diet). If you want to know more about it go to the official website at Reducetarian.org
I know that there's still so much more that I can do, that we can do as a family. Now, I have to do my bit in that department - find out how, learn, do it and pass it on to my girls.
Wishing you all a fantastic New Year, a year in which you make all your dreams come true, you conquer your fears and live life to the fullest!
P.S. Yes, expect more vegetarian, and sometimes even vegan recipes, but don't worry - I'll have those meaty ones too, after all I could never say "no" to a good steak or a Guinness stew. I also believe that it's all down to a moderation and that our bodies need all kind of minerals and vitamins, from ALL different sources.
Photos by fotocudnie.pl and Anula's Kitchen