Coming soon to a post near you!

Hey guys!! I am just dropping in to say hey before I get to work on studying for finals (3 more days of school…3 days…I can do this)

I don’t have a recipe or great topic for you now, but how about a little preview of what you might expect this summer?

-I am going to go visit some colleges (so excited) in Southern California! ROAD TRIP!!! After all, in about 4 days I will officially be a senior which means I have to think about college. I am excited, but scared at the same time. I have to grow up now eeps!!

-This summer is going to include a lot of changes. My family is going to start minimalizing (ala Lindsay Nixon) our house and lives-we have so much extra stuff we just don’t need lying around, and it would just seem to help de clutter our house and de stress our brains before another school year starts. What do I mean?? Check out Lindsay’s Minimalist Monday Series

-I realized I haven’t had a post on why I eat the way I do, why eating a plant based diet is important to me. I mean, its been a passionate part of my life for two and a half years, but its also become so normal that I hardly think about needing to explain it. Still, it is important to me and I want to share why!

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And yes, I do have this shirt. Problem? šŸ˜‰

-Speaking of making changes as a family, did you know that this

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is directly harmful to them?

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My mom recently learned about the effects the production and harvesting of palm oil has on the rainforest and the poor orangutans in the forest, and it is horrible and sad. I’ll save the stories and gruesome pictures (maybe I’ll post them later) but lets just say it is enough to have made us start rethinking our purchases. A lot of vegan alternatives (and junk) is made from or with palm oil and is neither sustainable nor necessary. I’ve already started making some switches on my own, I’m using coconut oil as chapstick and moisturizer instead of (even organic and cruelty free) lotions full of palm oil, and this summer, as part of our minimalizing, we are going to be switching to more whole foods and fewer items processed with palm oil. Its. In. Everything. I know this sounds all campy and hippyish, but hey, your vote starts with your wallet right?

-You all know I’m a big fan of stevia, but after some research and thinking, we are transitioning off of it this summer.

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Its hard, but necessary for a few reasons. A) the more often we use it, the more we depend on it. Because it is so sweet, it keeps triggering the sweet tooth and more is necessary! I realized this the other day when I was using erythritol to sweeten my oats instead of stevia and I noticed two things-my oats actually tasted like oatmeal and not like super sweet dessert, and wow,the amount of sweetness I needed from the stevia was WAY more than I had thought, the equivalent sweetness in sugar form would have been spoonfuls. If I wouldn’t eat that much sugar in my breakfast (not to mention tea/coffee/soy yogurt/lemonade etc.), why is it okay to eat that much stevia? I was becoming desensitized to it. Also (B) its not as healthy as it seems. Did you know that women in South America use stevia as a natural form of birth control? Obviously it does something to your hormones!! Aack! As a girl who is still growing and trying to overcome an eating disorder/get my period, I think it is really important to start introducing other natural sweeteners (sweeteners with *GASP* Calories?!?!) , in smaller/more normal quantities, that don’t mess with my hormones. Not to say I’ll be cutting it completely, I mean there are a lot of products that sweeten with stevia now even a bit (like some soy milks), but we won’t be buying it in bulk to use on the daily. And I mean, I was eating a lot of stevia daily. Not good. It’s important to get over my sweetener fears, and get my body back to normal.

These changes aren’t about more restrictions. Quite the opposite, actually. I want to get more in touch with my body, allowing myself to eat natural, whole, beautiful foods with thought and thankfulness to where they come from. More farmer’s markets and home gardens, cooking from scratch and appreciating the sources. Not getting caught up in foodie movements (although yes I will still be a foodie likely) like trying all of the bars, butters, powders, extracts, because they are there. Although thats not to say I won’t eat at fun restaurants or take part in vegan cupcakes now and then (cough cough yesterday cough). My choices aren’t about eating only “clean” foods-they are about eating for the environment. Eating for my health and my future. Eating for healing. And eating for the animals, with compassion.

-In other news (enough with the hippy-dippy activism now, sorry) I have lots of recipes coming your way soon, once I can get back into the kitchen!! Also, I’m thinking more seriously about running, it’s been my goal since freshman year to run a half marathon before I graduate High School, and so I’m looking more into that. Its a great challenge, and a lot of learning about myself is going to take place. It’s going to include overcoming a lot of fears, a lot of I can’t’s, a lot of restrictions. I will have to eat more and gain more. But ultimately, I want to prove to myself that I can do anything. I can be anything. And I can overcome anything.

What are your plans for this summer? Are you trying anything new?

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8 thoughts on “Coming soon to a post near you!

  1. First of all, good luck with finals!! I know you will ace them:) That road trip to South California sounds like it will be a blast; I hope you have a wonderful time visiting colleges. I love that T-shirt, and would definitely wear it–if I was a 100% vegan, which I am technically not. So I guess it would be a bit hypocritical to wear it…I recently read an article in a Vegnews magazine about the whole palm oil crisis, and was definitely both saddened and shocked by the terrible effects the harvesting of palm oil has on the environment, the people, and the orangutans. I should really try to avoid buying products that contain palm oil, since I now know the truth behind its processing. And I think it’s great that you are transitioning off of stevia; too much of any sweetener, natural or not, is never a good thing. I had never heard of women in South America using stevia as birth control–that is rather frightening to hear! I suppose stevia (as with all sweeteners) is fine in small quantities, but we shouldn’t overdo it. Whenever I bake, I generally use either unprocessed sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar as sweeteners. I know none of those are necessarily “super healthy,” but there’s nothing wrong with occasionally indulging in them. My plans for the summer are going to be mostly dancing five days a week, teaching a few ballet classes, taking a couple online courses through my community college, looking into colleges to transfer to in 2014, and trying to find time to enjoy the hot summer weather. I am looking forward to all of your upcoming recipes!

    • Thank you! Wouldn’t it just be so much easier if no one exploited creatures or habitats for all of the stuff we don’t really need? Gee whiz! And I agree with you on the sweeteners, you don’t eat dessert to be healthy anyway! A bit of sugar isn’t bad in something that is a treat, or really anything! How fun with the ballet! I’m actually looking into a local studio that is experimenting with one on one, online (like Skype) classes so I could take ballet and still not stress about my time schedule, which would be awesome! Good luck with your classes!

  2. I definitely sympathize with you about finals šŸ™‚ I’m pretty sure the purpose is to make you too brain-dead to enjoy the summer…at least I’m not to the stage where I’m looking at colleges yet šŸ™‚
    Over the summer I also want to work on cleaning up my eating habits! It’s going to be difficult, since I’m traveling rather extensively, but I really want to get more creative in the kitchen and see all that my body can do with proper, whole-food fuel! (If my knees clear up I’m thinking about 10k training, and half-marathon…sometime in the DISTANT future…) Getting “off” sweeteners will be a big challenge for me as well.
    I also want to work more on my photography…it’s kind of fallen to the wayside in the rush of the school year, but it’s something I really want to hone and improve! I have just now discovered the wonder that is Picasa free photo editor (not endorsed for this or anything)…who knew really simple lighting fixes could improve a photo so much?? A lot of times I don’t even realize what a photo needs until I touch it up…so I want to experiment with this more, and become more confident!
    Good luck with your road trips and running and recipes! (And don’t forget to reduce, reuse, and recycle, now that we’re on the topic of 3 R’s…hippy-dippy activism FTW!) šŸ˜‰

    • Hahaha I love it!! Photography is definitely something I want to experiment with too in the future, once I get a ‘fancy camera’. Right now I just use my iPhone and press the little magic wand icon to edit lol. I hope your knees get better, give them love!!! hippy out! šŸ™‚

  3. Oh my,thank you so much for the information you gave us here regarding stevia!
    I also noticed that when I use stevia,I use WAY more than necessary… I stand there like “Oh yeah,onbe more drop won’t hurt,it’s calorie-free”… Even though I actually HATE over-sweetened stuff for its super-sugary taste! How the hell can I stand that overly sweetened taste of tons of stevia in my food…?!
    Knowing now that it apparently has effects on my hormones and especially FERTILITY {which is a great issue for me as I really really want to get my period back and at least have the CHANCE to get children maybe} I am hionestly motivated to cut back on my excessive stevia-consumption.
    Really.
    That needs to change.

    • I have the same problem with the stevia, struggling over the fact that it is so convenient, no calories and you only need a ‘little’. I don’t get how I am so sensitive to sugar, but BRINGONTHESTEVIA. Ok nope. The whole fertility thing gives me the skeeves! Back to health we go!

  4. Best of luck with finals! So I decided earlier today that I am becoming vegetarian (as much as I can). Eventually I might want to transition into vegan, too. With so many alternatives at access, I feel like it’s pointless for me to be eating animals, which makes me SO sad to even think about šŸ˜¦ Thanks for the post Lacey! I’m going to watch out for that palm oil too. Even one person can make a difference! šŸ™‚

    • Yes, one person can!! Yay Sunnie, congratulations on your decision!! I am so happy about this, if you need any tips feel free to send me an email:) Good luck with your journey! šŸ™‚

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