Day 12 of the Using Less Plastic Challenge

Hi!

So, my newest challenge has been to use less plastic in my life! 

It is amazing how much more plastic I notice daily now that I am aware of the overconsumption of plastics. 

What are some of the ways I’ve been using less plastic?

1. I stopped using disposable plastic silverware, plates, and cups.  I just bring my own reusable ones, or I try not to eat/drink until I have access to reusable ones, or a drinking fountain.  Once, I ate off of my boyfriend’s styrofoam plate with his plastic fork just so as to avoid getting my own.

2. I am using up the skincare and personal care products I already own.  This seems like a no brainer, but I have bought products before just for the sake of buying them.  This way, I am using up the products I own that are in plastic, and while I’m using them up I can attempt to find alternatives to them to buy when they run out (if I need to replace them).

3. I’ve stopped using the plastic shopping bags and now bring reusable bags with me.

4. I bring a reusable travel mug with tea, or water, with me instead of buying a drink.  I no longer buy plastic bottled drinks or drinks that come in a paper cup with a plastic lid and a plastic straw.  This is healthy for me and for the environment.

5. I have started using soap again, and stopped using body wash.

The Places that I Am Working On

1. Finding organic conditioner without harmful ingredients in a glass (or some other non-plastic) container.  I have heard of using baking soda and apple cider vinegar to cleanse hair.  Although I used to like the smell of vinegar when I was younger, I have not been able to stand the smell of it for about three years now, so that is out.  And considering the baking soda, I am not convinced that it would cleanse my hair well enough.  I have dark blond aka “dirty blond” hair that shows even the littlest amount of oil in it.  I co-wash my hair, so, I’m still looking for a conditioner that is good for my health in a glass bottle.  I may be attempting a losing battle here.

2. Pasta without the plastic window.  I have yet to see a box of pasta without that little plastic window in it.  Yet, I believe if companies are able to sell macaroni and cheese boxes without the plastic window, they could very well sell regular pasta without them as well.  This may be another losing battle.

These are just my first couple of ways that I am lowering the amount of plastic that I use in my life.  This is not an overnight, automatic thing, but an ongoing process that I will continue to build on.

Are you trying to use less plastic?  Leave a comment below and tell me the ways you are using less plastic!

Have a sunny day 🙂

~Kim

“It is one thing to say you will make a change, one dayIt is an entirely different thing to start making that change today.” ~Kim Maurer

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Day 57 of the No Processed Foods and No Processed Sugar AKA the Real Food Challenge

Hello everyone!

So I wanted to give an update on how my food challenge was going and tell you that I have been seeing improvements.

My acne does significantly clear up when I follow this food intake plan religiously.  Yet, when I stray my acne just flares up and it takes it awhile for it to clear up again.  Right now, my skin is once again in its clearing up stage. 

I was so good and did not eat anything bad at a get together/party my boyfriend’s friend was having.  However, the next day (this last Monday) my boyfriend and I ended up eating out and I ordered a vegetable stir fry, kind of hoping (but not really believing) it would be a healthy stir fry.  It wasn’t.   It had a very salty sauce, white rice, and very salty vegetables.  It was a major letdown. 

And my skin has been paying for it.  It’s so interesting that now that I really focus on not eating anything bad or harmful (aka processed, or any type of sugar~ refined, artificial sweetners, etc.), I can see how sugar and processed foods really affect my skin.  But, it has been clearing up, so that’s good.

I also was not sure whether my skin was not having a reaction from the Tarte Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer that I’ve been using for a little less than a month.  So, I’ve stopped using it for a week now.  It does seem like I have less of the tiny bumps on my face, but I am going to give it another week to see if I really think it was partly the Tarte that was causing my breakouts.

I have also lost 12 lbs. in the almost two months that I’ve been cutting out processed foods and sugar.  I’m now at 144 lbs., compared to 156 lbs. two months ago.

Other than that one day that I ate out, I have been sticking to my no processed foods and no sugar plan very well.

My calve muscles also have not been cramping up badly at all recently.  I think I’ve found my balance of how much sodium I need in a day to make sure that the cramps do not happen.

I even feel like I’ve started to have a little bit more energy.  I am a little less stressed than what I have been recently, so I think because of the lower levels of stress I am finally able to see that my energy is higher because of what I’m eating, and what I’m not eating.  Or, maybe I just needed to be eating no processed foods or sugar for two months to finally start seeing my energy level rising.  Or, it could be a combination of the two.  Either way though, I am enjoying the little bit more energy that I am feeling.  I am hoping that as I continue to eat real foods that I will continue to see my energy level increase.

Overall, I have consciously made this a lifestyle change.  I no longer want to put anything that’s processed in my body, and I believe that is the main reason why I have overall really succeeded in keeping with this, despite having my weak moments. 

I believe that any of you can take this challenge to stop eating processed foods and sugar, and start eating real food (whole grains, raw fruits, raw vegetables, the correct portions of meat,etc.) too!  You just have to believe in yourself that you can do it, and truly want to change your food intake.  And the result will be changing your health for the better

“It is one thing to say you will make a change, one dayIt is an entirely different thing to start making that change today.” ~Kim Maurer

If you want to see my progress up to this point during this challenge, and for tips on how you can take this challenge too, please go to my No Processed Foods and No Sugar Challenge Category Page here: https://sunnymothernature.wordpress.com/category/no-sugar-and-no-processed-foods-challenge/

So, this challenge is almost over, but I am not giving up this change.  This is permanent for me, and I’m now in the stage of maintaining it.  I will continue to do updates on this even after the two months are up.

Are you ready to make this change?  Or do you have any questions, or comments?  Tell me in a comment below!

Have a sunny day! 🙂

~Kim

Using Less Plastic Challenge

Hello!

My last quest has been to cut out processed foods and sugar, which has been going really well!  I still have a couple more weeks in the challenge, but I am definitely going to continue this lifestyle change long after my challenge has “ended.” 

But while I was studying for my finals at the beginning of May, a new quest started to show itself to me.

So, what is my latest quest?  To use less plastic! 

This is my next challenge I am going to work on.  So much plastic used by us ends up in our oceans: some places in the ocean have more small pieces of plastic than plankton!  And the scariest thing?  None of the plastic that has ever existed is gone:  It all still exists today!  It only breaks down into smaller and smaller molecules.  It does not biodegrade.

The problem is somewhat recycling~not enough people are concisously recycling everything they possibly can.  Another problem is that not all plastic can be recycled, especially in all areas.

But the biggest problem?  We are consuming way too much plastic!

 The solution?  Using less plastic in our lives!  Go out of your way to find non-plastic packaging, or non-plastic alternatives to what you need, or want to buy. 

It will help our oceans, our environment (we only get one Earth) and it will help protect our health from harmful chemicals in plastics! 

 Want some inspiration to get you started?  Look up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to help inspire you to save our oceans, or read other bloggers quests to use less plastic! 

Here are some of my favorites:  Jeanne Haegele at www.lifelessplastic.blogspot.com (This blog is where I found the awesome video below.  Sadly, she hasn’t written a post in over a year, but she still has some awesome tips and blog posts); and Beth Terry at www.myplasticfreelife.com (She is continuously writing and updating her blog, and there is so much information here!) 🙂

3 Ways I’ve Already Reduced My Plastic Consumption

1) By taking reusable shopping bags with me (instead of using plastic grocery bags)

2) By bringing my own drink in a reusable container (instead of buying a drink in a plastic bottle)

3) By using soap instead of body wash (which is packaged in plastic)

I have used a grocery shopping bag, bought a plastic bottle of water, and used body wash all within the past couple of months (if not within the past couple of weeks), but I have already begun to lower my plastic consumption just with these three items!

Check back soon for more ways I am cutting out plastic.  🙂

If we all would truly notice just how much plastic surrounds us 24/7, day in and day out, 1) You would be surprised and shocked (I have been!) and 2) many of us would begin to wonder how much plastic is really safe for our health?

Watch the video below to help inspire you to start cutting back on the amount of plastics in your life! 🙂

~Kim

Why I Tried Organic Eggs and My Nature’s Promise Organic Eggs Review

                           

I used to love eating eggs: hardboiled, omlet, and especially scrambled.

That is, until my body changed and I no longer could tolerate any of these. The only way I could eat storebought eggs for almost two years was if an egg was baked into some kind of main dish (for example, if an egg was baked into a cake, etc.).

This happened about a year before my IBS started, yet even in that year it seemed inconsistent. I could eat some eggs and be ok, but others I would end up completely sick from them.  It was only until I read somewhere online that someone else had this same problem with storebought eggs and could not eat them because they would get sick, but fresh eggs they felt fine on that I started to notice when I actually felt bad.

The regular storebought eggs: After every time I ate them I would feel horrible.

Fresh eggs from my brother in law’s familyI felt fine every time after eating them.

Yet, even after starting to notice this as a pattern, I still would dread eating even fresh eggs because I worried that I would become ill like after eating storebought eggs.

Even until recently, I had still been restricting how many eggs I consumed because of that worry.

That was, until about a week ago, when I became so hungry for fried rice, but I had no fresh eggs. (With my no processed foods challenge, I make it myself with brown rice and an egg, or two.  If you want a little bit more something, add some low sodium soy sauce)

So, I began to wonder whether organic eggs would give me trouble like normal storebought eggs.  I decided to try it and risk myself feeling horrible just to see if I could eat organic eggs, and I can!

My body is completely fine with the organic eggs.  This was absolutely wonderful to find out 🙂  Also, they tasted really fresh.

I tried Nature’s Promise Organic Eggs mostly because these were the only organic eggs available at my grocery store (Giant Grocery Stores in PA).  There were only two other options, and both were not organic, but “pure” and “natural.”  So, these two other options are not regulated, but they want me to pay more for them.

Nature’s Promise Organic Cage Free, Fresh Brown Eggs Large, Grade A, on the other hand, are USDA Organic certified (look for the label like I have at the top of this post).  So, they have to follow strict guidelines to be labelled as organic by the USDA.  These eggs are from organically raised hens.  They use no antibiotics, no synthetic hormones, and no synthetic pesticides, which is wonderful because this is all stuff I am trying to avoid.

However, be careful when eggs are labelled as “cage free.”  Although in theory “cage free” is a wonderful idea, there is no regulation determining what “cage free” actually means.  So, it sadly could just mean that the chickens are all on a floor crowded together.  The U.S. government needs to place regulations on “cage free” so that we, the consumers, are NOT misguided by terms such as this on packaging.

Overall, these organic eggs have no antibiotics, no synthetic hormones, no synthetic pesticides, are USDA certified organic, and they tasted wonderful!  I’m sure other organic egg brands taste just as good and, if USDA certified organic,will not contain antibiotics, synthetic hormones, or synthetic pesticides as well.  Just make sure you are not misinformed by the terms “natural,” “pure,” or “cage free” on any packaging because none of these terms are regulated.  I will definitely be continually using these organic eggs whenever I do not have fresh eggs 🙂

So, if you’re looking for some nice eggs, but do not want anything in them that could harm your health, or you are like me and cannot tolerate regular storebought eggs, try some Organic Eggs, like Nature’s Promise!  You and Mother Nature will be a little healthier and happier 🙂

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Please Note: I did not receive free eggs, or anything else, from Nature’s Promise.  I am not affiliated with Nature’s Promise, and I am not being compensated by them.  My parents bought this carton of eggs.

Day 40 of the No Processed Foods and No Sugar Challenge AKA the Real Food Challenge

Hi!  I hope your almost-summer days are wonderful!

I’m sorry it’s been a week since I last posted anything!  I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been on a computer this entire week except two times to work on homework.

I wanted to update you though on how my little challenge is going, and it’s still going fairly nicely! 

However, since Day 27, I have gone to two outdoor parties, and a little luncheon.  I did not eat as well as I have been on this challenge at any of these three get-togethers.  At two of them I ended up having sugar (at the luncheon I had tomato soup cake, which I never had before and figured I’d probably never have another chance.  It tastes exactly like a spice cake.  It is really good 😉 ) and at the one I ended up eating mashed potatoes (a major comfort food of mine) which I know had tons of butter in it. 

So, my face has not been fairing as well as it has been since I stopped using the Bare Minerals Foundation.  I have a couple extra pimples on my face, but I am not too worried about it.  I know that it is my body’s natural way of getting rid of toxins in my body, if the toxins are not being released through my digestive system.  I will be happy when the extra pimples go away though. 😉

Other than these three times (and a lapse where I ate chocolate fudge ice cream 😉 ) I have been sticking to my no processed foods and no processed sugars food intake really well.

I have not been having trouble with my calve muscles cramping up recently, but the past couple of days they have been especially tight, so I have been trying to drink extra amounts of water (it got really hot here really quick, so I am wondering if I am just a little dehydrated).

I have been still losing weight though.  I have lost two more pounds since Day 27.  So, I am now at 148 lbs., down from Day 1 when I was around 156 lbs. 🙂

My energy level still is about the same.  However, I have not really been getting a consistent amount of sleep, so that could be part of the reason.  I am also wondering if my energy level will stay where it is unless I begin to exercise more.  So, that may be another lifestyle challenge coming up. 🙂

Check out my No Processed Foods and No Sugar Challenge Category Page to see all of my entries during this challenge, and to see tips on how to lessen your processed food and/or sugar intake here: https://sunnymothernature.wordpress.com/category/no-sugar-and-no-processed-foods-challenge/

Come back soon to see more updates on my progress and leave a comment below if you have any questions, comments, or if you too are cutting out processed foods and/or sugar! 🙂

Have a sunny day!

~Kim