A Step in The Right Direction – Reflecting Back on 2011

I do believe that 2011 completely changed how I chose to live – less consumerism and baby steps towards self-sustainability was where my heart was. It really started because I wanted to avoid all processed foods and the nasty ingredients that they all contain: GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and hydrogenated oils. I also wanted to eliminate chemicals in our cleaning products and personal care items. Now, reflecting back I see just how much I actually changed.

The garden was not much to brag about. I had good intentions but the turkeys benefitted the most. Another one of those ‘live & learn’ moments. (One needs to securely fence the garden)  Lets just say, they ate really well!

  •  Raw Milk – Nothing compares to raw milk or the healthiest nutrition for your body.
  • Grass-Fed Beef – in total this past year we purchased 3/4 of a cow. It was a commitment financially, but overall it is a per pound savings. Especially for the quality and health benefits.
  • Home raised: Turkeys – this was an experience and we will definitely raise more this year. After an unpleasant ‘store bought’ turkey for our 2010 Christmas dinner, we made the decision to raise our own. Fed totally organic feed and allowed to free range our back yard, they were absolutely the best turkey we have ever eaten. They weren’t injected with salt water or ever given antibiotics.  We did get many comments about how could we eat our ‘pets’! They were fun to watch grow up, but it was always with the intention of what their fate was to be.
  • Eggs –  Not a new change but noteworthy. We have had eggs from our own backyard for over 3 years now and I just can’t go back to store bought, anemic eggs. Once you have ‘free range’ , ‘cage free’ eggs you don’t realize just how bad the store bought eggs are.

Other notable changes I made was to make homemade versions of what I used to buy.

 In the Kitchen:

  • BBQ Sauce – the best we have ever tasted
  • Breads: Artisan, Sourdough, Hamburger/Hot Dog, Breadsticks, English Muffins, Tortillas
  • Broths: chicken and beef
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Ketchup
  • Kimchi
  • Mayonnaise – so easy and made with healthy oils
  • Salad Dressings: Vinaigrettes with my chive vinegar, Blue Cheese, Ranch, Thousand, Caesar…..you name it, I made it.
  • Pepperoni
  • Rendered: Lard and Tallow for use in cooking
  • Sausage
  • Sauerkraut
  • Spice Mixes: Season Salt, Taco Seasoning etc
  • Stevia Extract
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Yogurt – made from the raw milk

 Household Cleaning – you can make cleaning supplies for pennies and they won’t be harmful to you or the environment.

  • Laundry Detergent
  • All purpose spray cleanser
  • Liquid Dish Soap

Personal Care – It is amazing how much you can save by making simple daily use items and many from ingredients from the kitchen or craft room.

  • Bar Soap
  • Shampoo Bars
  • Deoderant – for me, not the hubby yet!
  • Toothpaste – again for me…..I am the quinea pig for the ‘science experiments’ it seems…..
  • Hard Lotion Bars
  • Dusting Powder
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Foaming Liquid Hand Soap
  • Healing Calendula Salve

What’s ahead for 2012? Future posts to include recipes and/or links to the above ~smile~!


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