This week's blog post is a collaboration with a very inspiring women, Kristina. She is the creator of Dreaming Up A Taste where she shares vegan & vegetarian recipes for the body, mind, & soul. I will let her introduce herself first.
Hello, I’m excited to collaborate with Atomic Sierra for this week's sustainable Sunday! My name is Kristina Konovchenko, Throughout my life I struggled to find balance with food but recently I’ve built practical habits that are aligned with my nutrition goals and allow me to be creative in the kitchen. I have had a huge shift in perspective on my diet, I had to be an observer and notice that the way my parents taught me to eat was not at all how I wanted to treat my body as an adult. This realization was hard to overcome, it meant that I had to break the cycle I was comfortable in for so many years of my life. By incorporating mindful eating, noticing how the food I eat makes me feel, whether I’m tired or energized after a meal, but also enjoying the flavors and process of cooking.
I will note, none of this came easy. It took years of practice, many times I went back to my old habits of eating. I cracked and I got Taco Bell, or 5 months into being vegetarian I had a burger. In the past I would beat myself up about this, thinking I was a failure but the real failure is not trying at all. In the past I had this false image that one day I would not have these urges anymore but in reality consistency over perfection is the key. This is how I’ve realized that my true goal was balance.
Perfection is not attainable. This has been on repeat in my head over and over again. I didn’t just wake up one morning and say, “I’m never going to eat _____ again!”. Eating in alignment means enjoying the foods you like. Creativity runs through all of us, and for me I’ve discovered that cooking is how I express that creativity while also nourishing my body. I have to eat everyday, why not make it enjoyable and fun?
Eating In Alignment With The Environment
Buy Seasonal Produce
Although I am not able to buy produce as locally as I would like, I still try to be aware of what produce is seasonal and plan my shopping list around that.
You will naturally have more variety in your diet
Produce is more nutrient rich the closer to harvest
https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/ → insert your state and month
Practice mindful eating
Understanding that our accessibility to groceries is a privilege
Being more conscious where your food comes from
Enjoying the flavors of each ingredient, of every meal, of every bite; will result in less waste
Try new food
Whether you’re a picky eater or not- I challenge you to try at least 1-3 new foods (preferably a vegetable or fruit) each season. You may be surprised that your cooking skills will improve.
Incorporate a plant based diet
Not only will you have less of an impact on the environment but you will find that it is easier to meet your daily nutritional needs.
I like to focus on the now, the small steps you take today that turn into routine. Maybe you’ll have one plant based meal today, maybe you’ll make your first homemade meal, maybe you’ll grow tomatoes this upcoming summer; every choice you make matters.
**Key point - Every ingredient has a use; you can either eat it fresh (or in a recipe), preserve it, or use the waste to incorporate flavor in a new dish**
"Globally, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined. According to the United Nations, a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change"
It takes an enormous amount of water to grow crops for animals to eat, clean filthy factory farms, and give animals water to drink.
1. A single cow used for milk can drink up to 50 gallons of water per day—or twice that amount in hot weather
2. it takes 683 gallons of water to produce just 1 gallon of milk.
3. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while producing 1 pound of tofu only requires 244 gallons of water.
4. By going vegan, one person can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.
1. Animals on U.S. factory farms produce about 500 million tons of manure each year
2. Runoff from factory farms and livestock grazing is one of the leading causes of pollution in our rivers and lakes.
3. Studies have shown that animal waste lagoons emit toxic airborne chemicals that can cause inflammatory, immune, irritation and neurochemical problems in humans.
1. It takes almost 20 times less land to feed someone on a plant-based (vegan) diet than it does to feed a meat-eater since the crops are consumed directly instead of being used to feed animals.
2. It takes up to 10 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and in the United States alone
3. 56 million acres of land are used to grow feed for animals, while only 4 million acres are producing plants for humans to eat.
4. More than 90 percent of all Amazon rainforest land cleared since 1970 is used for grazing livestock - one of the main crops grown in the rainforest is soybeans used for animal feed
1. Fishing takes 2.7 trillion fish from ocean every year. If this rate continues, marine biologist Dr Sylvia Alice Earle shares that the ocean will be empty – and soon.
2. As many as 50 million sharks are killed every year as 'bycatch’, aka an accidental catch.
3. Since most farmed fish are carnivorous, they are fed massive quantities of wild-caught fish. For example, it takes up to 3 pounds of fish meal to produce every pound of farmed salmon
4. Fishing is such a widespread problem, even the labels that state the fish has been sustainably caught aren’t true anymore
To learn more about the impact of fish & meat on our environment, check out these informative and interesting documentaries
6. Food Inc.
Blueberry Breakfast Crumble
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 ripe banana
¼ cup nut butter (almond, peanut, sunflower)
¼ cup maple syrup
1-2 handfuls of nuts, seeds, any other desired crumble mix ins for texture
12 oz frozen blueberries
1 tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 375°F
Add the first 3 ingredients: oats, cinnamon, salt to a bowl and combine.
Mash the ripe banana then mix in the nut butter and maple syrup. Stir to combine this mixture with the oat mixture. Fold in your nuts and seeds. Your crumble is done, set aside.
For the filling just add 1 tbsp of flour to your blueberries, make sure they are all coated. Transfer your blueberries to a baking dish then top with the crumble topping. Bake for about 35-40 minutes but keep an eye on the breakfast crumble at about 30 minutes. You know it is done once the crumble is golden and crispy.
Granola (so easy & you can add whatever nuts / berries / seeds you like)
Head over to Dreaming Up A Taste for more recipes!