Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Here's to my health!

I have a very active sweet tooth and a rather extreme love for breads.  This combination of sugar and carbs, however, results in an extremely bad diet. My food choices are mostly dominated with food groups that do not include fruits or veggies. Yikes!

I have recently started a low carb diet to encorage me to eat healthier. My mom has developed a system of eating low carb meals during the week and allowing carbs and goodies on the weekends.  It is a system that has worked for me in the past and is rather easy to incorportate into my lifestyle. I still get to eat the yummy goodies I crave just more moderately.

Here are some pictures of the yummies I have already enjoyed this past month with less carbs in my diet.
Spinach from our apt patio container garden
Mock "Potato" Soup- uses Caulflower

Yellow Squash
Another problem that I usually encounter is coming home from work and not having anything planned for dinner. This problem is usually solved with going out or ordering in and that is never healthy.

To solve this problem meat is purchased at Costco and frozen. Then every week I plan out what I would like to cook and buy just the extra ingredients that are needed. I look for the vegetables that I need first at my local farmers' market; if not there then at my local grocery store.

All in all, the combination of these two habits help me eat healthier and to reduce dinner time stress.
Please let me know of any suggestions that you might have; they are most welcome.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Local Design: Pacific Avenue is getting a makeover

PAC ave in Tacoma is in the design phase of being revamped! 
Pacific Ave is the main street through downtown Tacoma, WA.
Clear vision for Pacific Avenue
Picture from Tacoma Weekly

From Tacoma Weekly Article: Some of the improvements
The street-scape design will integrate innovative storm water improvements such as:

• Rain gardens;
• Pervious pavement;
• Water features and;
• Plantings.

Multi-modal improvements for autos, bicycles, pedestrians and transit may include:

• Revisions to curb locations, traffic lanes, turning movements and on-street parking;
• Lighting and planting;
• Bicycle facilities;
• Crosswalk treatments;
• Public art;
• Safety features;
• Special paving;
• Wayfinding; and
• Other elements.

The city of Tacoma allowed for resident input in the early portion of planning and showed two options for PAC ave. Both options were more bicycle friendly and more green.

The construction is set to begin late 2011/ early 2012 and set to be completed by the end of 2012.

(All information was acquired from http://www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?nid=1020 and 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do I have a green thumb?

Community and container gardens are my latest "green" endeavor. This post is about my gardens and my green thumb efforts. Our container garden is well under way and our plot has been given to us at the community garden. The city of Tacoma has recently started seven new community gardens. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough join at the start of one of these lovely gardens.

My Grandmother (Meme, my mom's mom) and Granddaddy (dad's dad) have inspired me to want to continue the traditions of gardening and farming. My Meme, has always thoroughly enjoyed gardens. Some of my early memories include her Alabama mountain homes with their beautiful gardens. She now resides in the North Carolina mountains and continues her gardens. My granddaddy and I use to fill bucket after bucket picking our blueberry plants on the farm I grew up on as a child.

For now I reside with my boyfriend in an apartment and we have started a container garden. We bought a cedar plant box from our local farmer's market and have since filled it with an array of wonderful plant babies (culinary lavender, oregano, rosemary, lettuce and spinach). We have had them for a little over a month and they seem to be enjoying there new home.

Also, while searching for a way to volunteer locally, I stumbled on a community garden that was in our neighborhood. It is a short fifteen minute walk from our apartment through a lovely residential area.  We have since joined and have been given a plot for even more room for plant babies. At the WSU plant sale a few weekends ago, we purchased zucchini, strawberry and a Geum "red dragon" (pretty flower). I am excited to get them in the ground and watch their progress! Anyone need any zucchini? I hear that they produce a very healthy crop.

I am very enthusiastic about our gardens and am very appreciative to have such a wonderful person in my life (my boyfriend) that has aided in starting something that is very important to me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Green" Endeavours

Up until this year, I have done the typical, easy steps to be more environmentally friendly. I will admit that I was talking the talk and not really walking the walk.  This idea of being green started in college while pursuing my interior design degree. Our focus was on the products themselves and very little else, however, being environmentally friendly encompasses so much more.

Today, I realize just how much deeper being a sustainable person goes. I made it one of my goals for this year (2011) to walk the walk to becoming more "green." It all really started with watching "No Impact Man" and finding The Zero Waste Home blog. These blogs are very disciplined examples of being sustainable. The two things that I find fascinating about these blogs are how they see the problem from so many angles and how  for these families it was a process with small, accomplish-able steps.  I believe that every little bit helps in what you are doing so this year my boyfriend and I are starting the process. I do not know if we will ever be equal to those two families, but we are making better choices because of it.

Prior to this year, I was recycling, turning lights off, and trying to use reusable bags. Already this year we have implemented a worm composter at our apartment, buying more bulk, going to farmer's markets to support our local farmers and economy, started gardens (my next blog post) and really started looking at how our items are packaged.

Our farmer's market that is within
walking distance!

Problems are numerous in our world today, but for me all I can control is what is right in front of me.  Great changes do not happen over night, they take time and dedication.  In just under six months, my boyfriend and I have made a difference that we can see.