For the better part of my 3 month holiday, I have indulged and gorged on all things cheese, bread, and pasta. All equivalent to a small country serving suggestion of carbohydrates and it has been fantastic. But unfortunately, as all good things do, it needs to come to an end.
I have never been the biggest fan of new years resolutions only because I make an asinine pledge to do things that honestly do not suit my personality like take up knitting or giving up chocolate. All are feeble and by Blue Monday, I’ve given them up and I’m back on my usual nonsense. I do think I battle with it because I have always been led by routine. My whole high school career was a routine of 6 o’clock wake up, 7 o’clock chapel, 1 o’clock lunch, 2 o’clock rest followed by 10 o’clock sleep. In university, despite most people following a more “Laissez-faire’ lifestyle, I again find myself in a routine. An 8-to-5 on a good day, but between us, I do give myself half days and days off, with a refuge between 1-2, which I either dice home for lunch or lounge under a tree on campus.
Now I am not complaining about my routine, I personally think I do better and more when I have one. When the hours in my day are accounted for, I feel a positive sense of urgency to get done what I need to do. So my outlook into stepping into 2019 is to add more to my already adored routine.
My goal for 2019 is to lower the impact that I have on the world. I think we can all acknowledge that the world is going through some pretty scary things and we’re in the middle of climate change, it is impossible for anyone to deny it. My father has likened Johannesburg this December to Ghana. If you haven’t been to Ghana, let me paint a picture. Ghana is a West African country that is slap bang on the equator; it is perpetually hot to the point where I get heat rash whenever I go. I digress, anyways, I am wanting to lower my impact on the world.
Hazel Wallace of the Food Medic recently shared a post on Instagram about how we help save the planet without having to go vegan. I am fully aware of the impact that the meat industry has on the planet but I do not think that I am in the place where I can currently commit to a fully plant-based diet. I have to have some sort of immersive hypnotic session that breaks my bonds with cheese. Back to the post, she shared ways in which we can help save the planet and here they are
- Bring a reusable cup for tea and coffee
- Keep a folded tote or shopper in your bag instead of buying plastic bags and this included all shopping items, not just groceries (I found this quite interesting because I do generally only use reusable bags for my groceries but not all my shopping)
- Use a reusable water bottle or flask
- Pick up a set of cutlery that you can take with you for meals on the go (I hadn’t thought about this one but I often pick up all the plastic forks and knives from the woolies exit and put them in my lunch box because it is ‘convenient’ and you can throw it away as quickly as you use it so I think this will help decrease my plastic use by a lot.)
- Avoid excess plastic in the supermarkets by buying fruit and veg loose and opting to bulk grains and pulses in bulk where possible
- Buy your soaps/shampoos/lotions as bars. Not only are they plastic free, they last much longer
- Invest in a re-usable straw (glass, bamboo, stainless steel)
I enjoyed this post because it gave some great ideas and many other people shared more ideas in the comments section (I’ll link it here so you can check it out).
Another goal of mine is to follow a plant-based diet during the week and slowly decrease my animal product consumption. I was listening to a podcast recently that spoke about how everyone has about five-to-seven recipes that they can confidently make and know that it will be delicious and easy to make again and again and unfortunately, the majority of these recipes have either meat, pasta or comfort foods or are a mix of all three. So I have been playing around with plant-based, easy and delicious recipes that can be added to my arsenal of recipes I can make easily and happily. I made vegetarian pasta using Happy Earth People red lentil pasta that had my little brother follow his nose downstairs to enjoy.
Here it is, let me know what you think!
- 1 box of Happy Earth People pasta
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 tablespoon of dried mixed herb
- ¼ teaspoon of chili flakes
- 2 lemons juiced
- 100g of frozen peas
- 2 bunches of mint chopped
- Grated Parmesan to your liking
- Baby tomatoes chopped
- Cook the Happy Earth People Pasta for 2 minutes shorter than the box instructions (5 minutes)
- Heat a tablespoon of butter and add the garlic when it has heated and cook for about a minute
- Add the chili flakes and the dried mixed herbs and cook until fragrant
- Add the mug full of pasta water into the pan and cook it until it has reduced
- Add the pasta, peas and half the lemon juice and heat until the peas are warmed through and the pasta is al dente
- Stir through the remainder of the butter until melted
- Take off the heat and place in the bowl and stir through the cheese, mint, tomatoes and the other half of the lemon.