I’ve been suffering from a serious case of writer’s block. Lately, there just doesn’t seem to be much to blog about. My friend Lainey recently showed me a piece of scrap paper where she had ideas for her next 14,284 blog posts jotted down, and I must confess I felt a small twinge of jealousy. I’ve been thinking and thinking about what to share with you; one time I even started a post about how amazing pivot tables are. The husband pointed out I might lose a few readers and I realized he was right- it’s probably better not to post at all than to post about pivot tables. Even though they are awesome.
And then I had an idea. Over the past year or so, I’ve been on a bit of a journey. It’s not one I purposefully set out on, rather I took one small step, which led to another, and another, and another, until I realized my consumption habits were starting to look different than most.
It started last January when we watched the documentary Food Inc. This movie looks at the food industry in America and how it has evolved over the past few decades. It examines the impact the industry has on the environment, our health, and on worker’s rights. Little by little, I started become more aware of the food I was putting into my body and buying for the husband. I started paying attention to the ingredients that were in the food I purchased. I learned there’s a lot more to food than just fat grams and calorie counts. I was surprised to find that many of the things I thought were healthy weren’t so healthy after all. I tried to figure out where the food we were eating actually came from. Our grocery budget increased. There wasn’t any big shift, just a gradual change of priorities when it came to food consumption.
That leaked over to my pets. If you know me well at all, you know how much I love my dogs Turner and Hooch.
I also have a cat, Oliver. He’s okay too.
I started paying attention to what was in their food. I was buying some sort of mid-grade food…not the super expensive stuff but not the cheap stuff either. Stuff like Purina Beneful or the Good Life. Stuff that sounded like it should be healthy, but it wasn’t. When I read through the ingredients, they were disgusting. So I started doing a lot of research into dog nutrition, and now consider myself somewhat of an expert. I started reading every ingredient on the pet food labels and buying higher-quality stuff. I found that some of the expensive stuff isn’t much better than the cheaper stuff. I also started making dog food at home.
So that’s where it started, and it continued that way for awhile. Our family was making healthier decisions. I can’t tell you that we became superheroes overnight or that Covergirl called me for a contract, but we definitely felt good and had more energy.
Then I really started to go off the deep end.
As I thought about the preservatives and chemicals we were slowly decreasing in our diets, I thought about the chemicals we used around our house. I tried to buy natural cleaners and such, but they were expensive and still had things in them that I wasn’t sure about.
So I started making my own all purpose cleaner.
And then my own laundry detergent.
And then dishwasher detergent.
Just recently I ran out of shower gel, and instead of going out to buy more I consulted the interwebs to see if that was something I could make as well. It was. I made my first batch yesterday and failed miserably, but I shall try again.
So that’s how it’s been going. No huge change at once- I run out of something, and rather than replacing it I see if it is something I can make instead.
I still use many chemicals in my life. Sometimes my whites need bleached. The only thing that will clean our glass shower doors to my satisfaction is Dirtex, which I buy in the paint thinner department. And I just feel better when my hair is dyed. I will probably always use some chemicals, but I’d like to use as few as possible.
After weeks of thinking about what to write about, I thought I would share some of my experiences with you. My next several posts will be about this natural journey I’ve somehow found myself on. I still have a long ways to go, but I’ve learned many things over the past year that I would love to share. And I have no interest in becoming a natural type of blog, so if you’re not into it, it will all be over in a couple weeks. Hope you’ll enjoy!