With all of the challenges we face everyday it’s no wonder we can become overwhelmed at times when it’s time to eat. For many of us, we may even feel underwhelmed with our options as we may have implemented a diet that is too restricted.
Over the years I have literally tried a multitude of “diets”, in fact I hate the word diet. I refuse to use it anymore, nor do I support the use of this word in reference to eating, dieting, weight loss you name it! So henceforth, we will all conclude that when I am speaking about all things food, I will call it “nutritional Life-style”.
I hope you know by now that I was raised in a home-garden-fed family, with no sugar permitted and a very restricted choice of meat in general. No Flintstone vitamins for me! Just orange juice and brewers yeast YUM! (I do thank this for my beautiful skin.) As I moved forwarded on my own path I took many a varied route, veggie-saurous, vegan, raw food, carnavoir/paleo, totally o.k. with McDonalds French fries, gluten free, sugar free, and many many more. All, which I supported with almost religious like zeal. Sometimes these programs worked harmoniously, other times it was like a world war.
Here is what I have learned – everyone is totally and utterly unique! Even in one family you may find that mom works best on a vegan nutritional lifestyle, dad on paleo and the kids on a vegetarian mixed with a little paleo. I just switched my elderly dog to paleo, so now even she’s on her own nutritional lifestyle meal plan!
So back to the main subject, how can you refine these choices and manifest it into something simple that works for you, all while staying eco-friendly?
My answer: whichever lifestyle you choose keep it simple! A birthday party is coming up and it’s almost Halloween! You can not prepare a different meal for each family member, nor can you just cut out the holidays. However, you can make it work for yourself, your pocket book and the environment.
Below you will find a simple breakdown of the different nutritional lifestyles and ECO-EATING plans, which I recommend as well as some links to some great recipes for each!
Paleo/Caveman: OOga Chucka! Paleos and or modern cavemen, typically choose foods that hearken back to what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate such as grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, roots, tubers, veggies and, to some extent, fruits. They also believe grains, starches, legumes, sugars, processed foods (oh-oh this includes my favorite lovely Rice Dream), dairy (for the most part) and most anything else that did not exist pre-agriculture.
Paleo eco-eating: this is my overall favorite plan as I find it easy to balance everyone’s favorite foods as well as really be conscious to buy from local organic farmers, purchase fresh produce using a reusable bag and converse with individuals producing these items to see what else they might be doing to help decrease their carbon footprint! You make this super eco-friendly and use local transportation or your own two feet, caveman style. Not surprisingly, this plan does not always mean buying organic, but locally grown so many times you will find your find that your shopping is more economical. I am a super sweets lover and due to my thyroid disease and anemia, I need lots of iron rich meals. Click here for one of my favorite recipes, which takes some time just happens to be gluten free!
Raw food vegan/Hummingbird: It may be hard to fathom, but the raw food vegan diet is very closely related to the paleo nutritional lifestyle! The only significant difference is the raw food vegan plan does not allow cooked food. Both plans painstakingly avoid processed foods. I use the word painstakingly due to the fact that when I a preparing snacks, desserts and meals using wither raw or paleo meals it can take hours to complete when you first start. Anyone who is familiar with the preparation of soaked and peeling almonds’ to create seed cheese understands this! Check out this awesome recipe here.
Raw food or vegan eco-eating: This is the MOST eco conscious, as you can literally grow your own food and just walk to your garden to pick out your meals, no car, no gas and you can compost the waste. It’s easy on your pocket book as well as you can recycle and replant using seeds, roots and tubers from your fresh meals.
Vegetarian-Herbivor/Field Mouse: Vegetarians typically do not eat meat, and mostly eat foods that come from plants, like grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Some stricter vegetarians avoid more than just meat. I have married into a caveman family and bore a caveman child, sooo what I have done to balance this out is meal plan and prepare a mostly vegetarian nutritional lifestyle program at home, and when out, we go paleo. One additional blessing for us is that almost all animals are grass fed here in Costa Rica and healthy super fresh fish is in abundance. See one of my favorite high protein and iron rich snack/lunch/meals here. It’s got Pumpkin so reuse that carved pumpkin from Halloween!
Vegetarian or herbivore eco-eating: You can grow your own food, pick it and cook it. You can recycle your kitchen sink and shower/bath water to water your garden, (and, hey, lower your water bill!) you can use local farmers markets and recyclable and or biodegradable grocery bags. Lastly, composting, using local transportation and even making your own yogurts and seed cheeses using recyclable materials will create a very eco-eating experience!