MiniMonday: The Donation Adventure

Now that I’m living in a “cute” (read: small) apartment, the desire and urgency of going minimalist with my possessions has increased. Despite this, it’s very easy to look around and ignore the clutter that threatens to choke me as it builds.

Having taken some steps to avoid further clutter (mostly a stringent avoidance of shopping for things other than food and digital educational products), I’m left to the adventure of reducing what I’ve reduced of what I’ve reduced. Why? Well, because I still don’t use most of what I have and what I don’t use is crowding me out.

PLUS, all the things that I’ve pulled out of the cabinets and drawers to get rid of have been sitting by the front door waiting for me to take ┬áthem to DI to donate.

So I decided to actually take things to DI, instead of thinking about taking them.

Before taking them, I grabbed a big box and filled it with things I don’t use from my kitchen. I actively avoided using my magic-bullet-esque blender and refused to use any recipe that required blending because I hated the darn thing. So that went. Then the next thing, and the next. When I finished, my cupboards were a good deal less overflowing and the box was looking a little dilapidated.

Then into the suitcase it all went, and down the two flights of stairs to the porch, and across the lawn to the bus stop. I will forever maintain that the only way to effectively transport a large amount of stuff on the bus system is in a rolling suitcase.

When I reached DI, it immediately became apparent that people showing up with suitcases full of stuff was abnormal, to say the least. The contents were unloaded and I left behind a bemused but unharmed drive-thru crew. Then into DI I went to get the screen we’ve needed for our desktop computer. I had to insist that I brought the suitcase with me at the checkout desk, as somehow they hadn’t noticed me rolling it in, and then I got back on the bus and reached home…

Where more clutter was waiting.

‘Tis a little discouraging.

So, my challenge to you and me this week is to fill another box of stuff AND get it out the door! Persistence will get us closer to being unburdened by the unnecessary amount of stuff that crowds out our lives. One day my home will have a place for everything and space to spare, instead of stacked and stuffed belongings. The change will be slow, but slow and steady wins the race.

Vegetarian Isn’t the Only Answer: I Eat MEAT.

This morning, walking across campus, I was handed a flier. It was a bit of vegetarian propaganda, and I’ve read it all before. In fact, I share most of their premises. However, I don’t agree with their conclusion.

Yes, it is possible to live without meat. Yes, you can get every nutrient you would get from meat from somewhere else (even an analog of B12, from tempeh and other fungus-y foods or from a supplement). Yes, how animals are treated in factory farms is completely inhumane. And yes, factory farm meat and eggs make me QUITE sick.

However, that doesn’t mean that vegetarian eating is better for you than other clean eating plans out there. The only advantage it has is that soybeans and a tempeh starter are way cheaper than grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, etc. Eating lots of raw veggies, nuts and fruits is great for you! But that doesn’t make high-quality meat BAD.

I personally have experienced how my body reacts to different meats now that I get the majority of my protein from eggs, lentils, and protein-heavy vegetables. Cheap chicken from the supermarket makes me feel sick. I can’t bring myself to eat it any more; the smell makes me retch. However, high quality beef from a local farm┬átastes good and feels good in my stomach. I crave more when I eat it (even though I feel bursting after a few bites! Meat is heavy in the tummy). Even eggs have to be chosen with care, and I pay at least $3/doz. in the supermarket because cheap battery eggs make me feel very sick. I prefer to get them from a nearby chicken keeper in season (did you know eggs have a season?) because I can get very high-quality eggs.

Perhaps going vegetarian would improve the health of someone who had previously been eating the SAD diet. Perhaps it would improve the health of the average person simply because the average person doesn’t get the wide range of nutrients they need in their diet. Personally, I like good meat when I get it.


p.s. : I didn’t address the “meat has saturated fat in it” argument because of this:

The evidence is mounting that saturated fat is not only AWESOME for you, but also completely necessary in a healthy diet. Vegetarians get saturated fat from nuts, seeds, coconut oil, etc, and people not on a low fat diet get it from dairy, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, lard (yum!), suet, etc. Poor low fat diet people, never feeling full and starving their brains… My husband and I literally take coconut oil and slather it on multigrain bread and eat it. He seems to think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Butter is also awesome. Strangely expensive, but awesome.