Julie Green and Keen: going green
Showing posts with label going green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label going green. Show all posts
I feel like everyone goes through phases with foods, whether it is loving it or hating it.  The good news is Liam has lost is last obsession…thank goodness, but my husband and I have been in quick the granola kick.

There is nothing wrong with a little granola obsession for a while but making sure that it is in moderation.  My husband comes up with some great ideas when it comes to mixing up flavors in food.  He wanted us to make our own granola and he came up with little variations to avoid getting bored with the same kinds of granola.  He came up with some delicious concoctions I have to share these great granola ideas with.

With fall in sight Low Fat Apple Raisin Granola


Ingredients-
3 cups dehydrated buckwheat chunks
1 cup raisins
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsps. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger powder
Pinch of salt
¾ cup agave
1 apple, chopped and diced
1 tbsp. almond butter

Instructions-
Preheat oven to 250 degree Fahrenheit
In a large bowl mix the buckwheat chunks, raisins, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, ginger powder, and salt.
In another bowl mix the agave, apple, and almond butter together.  I have used a blender to thoroughly mix together.  Pour over the dry mixture and toss to coat and combine.
Spread on a lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Cool and store in an air tight container.  This is my favorite granola we have made :)

Vanilla Almond Goji Berry Granola

Ingredients-
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup grape-seed oil
1/3 cup agave
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup goji berries

Instructions-
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
Mix the oats, almonds, coconut flakes, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl then pour on a lined baking sheet.
In a saucepan mix the grape-seed oil, agave, vanilla extract, and light brown sugar on low heat until a simmer then remove from the heat.  Pour over the oat mixture and toss to coat.
Bake for 20 minutes until it is golden brown, cool and break into chunks and mix with the goji berries.  Enjoy over yogurt, milk, or even ice cream if you are feeling ambitions.

When you don’t feel like a sweet granola, my husband loves his new creation: Salty Olive Granola-


Ingredients-
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 ½ cup pecan halves, pulverized
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Instructions-
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, pecans, coconut, and pumpkin seeds.  Add the maple syrup, sugar, olive oil, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon and mix until everything is coated.
Spread the mixture on a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stir and bake for another 15 minutes.  Let cool and add the raisins and mix together.  Enjoy your salty granola with a twist.

If you have any unique and tasty granola recipes I am sure my husband would be excited to give them a try! :)

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

I was looking for images on the web and came across an awesome infographic on BusinessInsider.com.


Although, it was posted a couple years ago, it is still relevant and resonated with me.  It is titled, Why You Need to Stop Driving Your Car Right Now.

I always try walking or riding my bike whenever I can and only drive my car when it is really necessary.  It not only saves me money by biking but I get exercise too.

When my husband and I were looking for our first our home, it was essential that it was located close to markets, parks, work, and our children’s school.  We were fortunate enough to find a home that is in a very central location and walking and biking distance to many places.

Since moving here and not using our car as much, we have seen a large drop in our transportation expenses and we are even healthier.  We are helping the earth by reducing our emissions that are harmful to the environment, not spending money on cars upkeep, saving of fuel, not having to pay for parking, and we get to speed past traffic jams.

I saw this statistic that shocked me; it showed that 80% of bike commuters improve their heart and lung function within 8 weeks! Just 8 weeks! I couldn’t believe it.

Once you understand how the simple change from driving your car to riding your bike is, it is clear that riding your bike is better for you, your health, your family, and the environment.  So hop on that two-wheeler and get pedaling.

I have shared here, the informative infographic from BusinessInsider.com. Enjoy!


After reading this infographic, I hope you feel motivated to start riding your bike whenever you can.

 If you live near your work, grocery stores, or frequented venues, why not give it a try?  I enjoy walking and biking places, it allows me to clear my mind and stay active.  I challenge you to try swapping your car for an earth friendly bike! :)

Go Green and Staying Keen,

Julie


Ever since I was young my parents taught me how important it is to recycle and take care of our planet.  I believe that all parents want to leave the world a better place for their children after they are gone.  As my children grew up and learned about trash and where it goes, they also knew about recycling.



My husband and I made leaning about recycling fun for our kids.  We made it more of a game and made it easy for them to understand and put to use.  The earlier good habits are ingrained, the easier it is to make an impact.

When we were teaching our children about recycling we used some of these steps.

1. We talked about what recycling means and respecting and helping the earth.

2. There are many books about the basics of reducing, reusing, and recycling.  It is a great way to start of teaching your kids.  It excited my children to start recycling after reading.

3. To help them understand what was recyclable and what was not, we decorated bins to correlate what goes in them.

4. We had a “recycled item of the week” that we focused on to make it a fun event.  Each week we kept adding to the list until we had a full list.

5. We made a fun facts list to post on the fridge about facts about recycling. For example; the average person throws away about 170 lbs. of food waste every year that is the same as 1,077 banana peels.

6. We visited our local recycling center to see how the process actually works.  Our kids loved it when they were young.  Usually recycling centers will help organize a visit with a group.  It is a great way for them to understand the process.

7. To reuse our own “nice trash” we made little craft projects.  Kids love crafts and what a great way to learn about recycling too.  I found some good recycling craft ideas here.

8. To teach them about conserving water, we set a “shower song.” It was a song that they got to shower to that gave them a time limit so they did not waste water.  We always made it one of their favorite songs so they knew when it was going to be done.  It was fairly easy for them to grasp the concept of conserving water, they understand that if they used too much water, the fish wouldn’t have any place to live.

9. To teach our children about reusing we also had them go through their closets and toys to find five items to donate to local panties and organizations.  It was a great way to help the community and teach them about reusing and making a difference.

10. There are countless games online that revolve on the subject of recycling and conservation.  Our favorite websites were Kids Recycling Zone and Kids Recycle.


My husband and I strive to inspire our children to love the earth and take care of it.  It is easy to feel like we don’t have much control about what happens to our earth in years to come; but it is beneficial to teach our little ones now to ensure there will be a healthy planet for future generations.  I believe the earlier good habits are created, the easier it is to incorporate them into daily life.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Many people become vegetarian for religious, moral or ethical reasons.  I chose to become vegetarian for the moral and ethical reasons regarding the treatment of animals.  When first deciding to transform my lifestyle, learning how long vegetarianism has been around blew my mind.  Vegetarianism began long before recorded history and has withstood the test of time. 



I think it is important to understand the lifestyle from the various points through history and see how it has benefited human kind.

Going way back to cave men, many anthropologist believe that most early humans ate mainly plant foods and were more gatherers than hunters.  This concept makes the most sense to me.  Knowing how to gather and grow sustainable food is a more reliable source of nutrition than hunting.

Vegetarian ideology is said to have been practiced among religious groups in Egypt around 3,200BCE.  The karmic beliefs of reincarnation were a main factor in vegetarianism for these people. 

In many eastern religions a meat-free diet is fundamental in religious philosophies.  Many religions have doctrines of non-violence and respect for all life forms, including animals.  Vegetarianism has always been one of the main aspects of Buddhism.  The religion focuses on compassion to all living creatures and the respect for all.




Looking at the research, it is clear to me that many of the early vegetarians, besides early humans, practice this lifestyle because of religious and philosophical reasons.  I find this very interesting because those religions are not as common in the United States. 

Vegetarianism was not very common in the US until 1971.  Author, Frances Moore Lappe, wrote a bestseller book titled Diet for a Small Planet that was published in 1971 encouraging people to practice a meatless diet.  His book described that it takes 14 times as much grain to feed an animal than what you get out in meat.  He recognized this as an enormous waste of resources and supported a vegetarian lifestyle to stop wasting the world’s food.





In the 1990’s the American Dietetic Association officially endorsed vegetarianism after overwhelming medical evidence supporting the superiority of vegetarian diets.  Many of my vegetarian friends became vegetarian in the 90’s because of the research and the support of a healthy lifestyle. 

I believe that the vegetarian community has grown rapidly in the past couple years because of the shocking truth behind the meat industry.  There is no denying that our county allows the mistreatment of animals to produce meat quicker at more quantities.  Recent documentaries and research has brought this industry in the limelight.



Vegetarianism has been around since before recorded history and has withstood the test of time.   It has been recorded through many decades in cultures all over the world.  A plant-based diet has sustained humanity for thousands of years, why not join in on this healthy lifestyle?

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie


History of Vegetarianism

by on 1/21/2015
Many people become vegetarian for religious, moral or ethical reasons.  I chose to become vegetarian for the moral and ethical reasons rega...
Do you really know what is in your foods?  When I was first learning about vegetarianism I was naïve to what was actually in my food.  I just assumed that if it wasn't the actually meat it was vegetarian.  When I am researching, I always make sure I have a tough stomach because some of the things I have come across make my stomach turn.  It is shocking what ingredients are actually in the foods we eat all the time without thinking.

Even though I’m not vegan, I still like to be conscious about the ingredients in foods I eat and prefer my foods be free of animal byproducts.  I made a list of cringe worthy products that have animal byproducts that might make you think twice about what you are eating.


DISCLAIMER- if you have a weak stomach or just ate lunch, you might was to wait to read this until your stomach is strong enough to hear all the ingredients might be in your favorite foods.

When first beginning to research products that we not vegetarian gelatin was the first product I learned about.  Gelatin is mainly made from collagen, a protein often collected from animal skins.  Gelatin can be found in frosted cereals, yogurt, candy, some types of sour cream, and deserts.  The gelatin in deserts often comes from pig skin.

Beef fat is an ingredient many Hostess Products.  It is gross thinking a favorite sweet childhood snack contains beef fat.  The ingredient is included in the list of other oils that may or may not be used.

This is a more widely known animal product, crushed bugs are used as red food coloring.  Dried insects are boiled to produce a liquid solution that is turned into dye.  It is often called carmine or carminic acid.  YUCK

Beaver anal glands, castoreum, are common in perfumes and colognes.  I don’t want to use anal glands to smell sweet, that’s for sure.  Another use, they are used to enhance the flavor of raspberry candies and sweets.

It is more common people know Caesar salad dressing is made with anchovies, but they are in Worcestershire sauce too.  I was unaware of this until I did some research and now I avoid both sauces.

Like jelly beans or candy corn?  The shiny hard coating is make from the secretions of the female Kerria Lacca, an insect native to Thailand.  I personally don’t like any bug secretions in my candy.



These are just a few of the cringe worth products that use animal products to be more appealing and satisfying to the consumer.  After months of researching and growth I learned that animal products are in so many unexpected places and products.  I find it very interesting to learn about all the products that use weird animal parts and secretions.  Peta.org has an extensive list of animal ingredients that are in food that might shock you.

Know of any more cringe worthy products with animal products? I would love to learn more, comment to share your knowledge!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie