I just went to see Revolution (the follow up to Sharkwater, one of my favourite docs of all time. Seriously, watch it. Borrow mine if you need to), which prompted me to blog about something I’ve been meaning to address for a while: I’ve become a bit of a hippie. I’ve avoided this blog because I don’t want to sound preachy or holier-than-anyone, but I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes, so I figure I’ll explain the what and the why for those of you who care to find out. If this isn’t your cuppa, tune in next time for your regularly scheduled dating disaster.
The most obvious change is probably my vegetarianism. This was/is kind of a big deal for me. I did not stop eating meat because I didn’t like it — meat is fucking delicious. My godfather is a beef farmer, and I grew up under the impression that most meals require some sort of animal protein. I had said for a few years that if I were a stronger person, I would go veg, but I just couldn’t imagine it. Fast forward to finishing a batshit cleanse offered by a client, and after eliminating dairy, refined sugar, processed food, gluten, red meat, and caffeine, the thought of just getting rid of meat wasn’t so daunting. In August I gave up mammals, and in January I stopped eating seafood (save a few meals in Hawaii in February, and even that was short-lived after I went snorkelling and had conversations with the fish). It has been surprisingly easy. At first I relied pretty heavily on meat replacements (TVP, tofu, not-chicken nuggets, etc), but I am slowly trying to weed the bulk of those out as well. So why the switch to not eating things with faces? I like animals, but in truth I’m mostly an environmental vegetarian. I won’t lecture you, but the short answer is a meat-based diet is harder on the environment than a plant-based one (and as I continue to rely less and less on meat substitutes, the lower my environmental impact will be).
At the same time, I’ve been paring down my reliance on shitty chemicals in my daily life. I was a pretty big product junkie: I’ve tried pretty much every skin care line out there, gone through untold number of lotions and potions, and even fried my hair to a crisp this summer with bleach (which required even more chemicals to try and salvage it. They didn’t work; I now have a pixie cut). A few months ago, I stumbled across some natural skin care blogs, and slowly began replacing my ‘normal’ products with weird hippie stuff. Shit I use on my face: castor and jojoba oils to wash at night, raw honey to wash in the morning, apple cider vinegar, lavendar and tea tree esssential oils (I know I sound crazy right about now, but my skin is freaking amazing). There are no sulfates or parabens in my shampoo, conditioner, or body wash, I stopped dying my hair (we’ll see how long that lasts, I haven’t seen my natural colour since I was 14), I even switched to natural-ish toothpaste (don’t worry, it still has flouride) and natural deoderant (don’t worry, I have friends sworn to tell me if I smell). I even made these to use in the dryer instead of fabric softener. I could go on but this might be boring, so if you want to know the nitty gritty about my natural product shift, just ask.
I am also trying to consume less overall, but let’s be honest: I’m far from perfect. Sometimes I forget to recycle or leave the light on, I really like certain Western comforts (like air conditioning), and travel has a terrible carbon footprint but I still love to explore. In the end though, no one is keeping score and I’m making these decisions as I go along. I am a work in progress, and still figuring this out as I go along.
I have a date at the Green Living Show tomorrow (he might be a keeper, it was his suggestion), so either I’ll have more ideas for natural living or more dating tales to share. Maybe both if you’re lucky!