Friday, 24 August 2012

Five Things For Friday: Things I'd Like To Try


Barefoot living. 

I recently watched a news show about all of the guff companies try to sell you when you are working out; special clothes, shoes, food and drink. Turns out that none of it is necessary, even shoes themselves.

This surprised me a bit. I was always under the impression that running shoes were high-tech and very important in keeping one's knees intact whilst exercising, but some scientists say this isn't so. And not just scientists, but also the American Army. They did a test on men who ran with fancy shoes and old walking shoes, and the amount of running-related injuries were almost exactly the same for both groups.

Interesting, no?

There is also a subset of the American population who are devoted to living their lives as barefoot as possible. They say it is better for your physiology and that it is more fun to feel the earth as you walk along. When you run in bare feet, your body shifts its weight differently and it actually lends itself to fewer stress-related injuries because you aren't landing on your heels for the jarring impact; you land more on the ball of the foot which spreads the weight out more evenly.

I find all this fascinating. I love the idea of not having to buy shoes anymore, to be honest. As cute as shoes are, they almost always give me aching feet or blisters or just plain annoy me. I once tried to get my calloused skin removed by those fish that eat dead skin, and I nearly crawled out of my skin during the experience. It was horrible!

If I walk barefoot everywhere, those callouses will be put to good use.

Unfortunately, it isn't socially acceptable to walk in public without shoes, and there are only so many social mores I am willing to push in one day. I will keep my shoes on when I go places, but I might just slip them off once I get there....


Dumpster diving.
In the UK, some 48 million tonnes of food is thrown out from shops and grocery stores every year. About half of it is perfectly edible.

I find this statistic shocking! Recently I was in a grocery store at about 10pm and watched two young men bag up the day's bread and load it into a metal trolley. There were at least four or five large bin bags full of bread that was clearly going to be thrown out (they were squishing it all down to fit into the trolley).

What a terrible, needless waste! Why isn't this food being put to good use? Why isn't it sent to homeless shelters or bagged up for distribution to other people in need?

There is a growing movement in America of people living exclusively off of the food that gets thrown out. I even happened across a blog of a woman who asks her local grocer for fruit and vegetable "scraps" at the end of each week so she can feed them to her chickens. She picks out the food that's still useable and ends up with mountains of food!

I might look into this a bit more. Maybe the fruit and veg markets in town centre would be willing to give away their old stock at the end of the day, or at least at a hugely reduced price.

And what about dumpsters at the back of grocery stores? Apparently they are padlocked to prevent picking over, or even covered in blue dye or bleach to ruin the previously edible food.

With all the starving people in the world, and in our own towns, this should not be happening. It is a problem that needs to be addressed somehow! I don't think I'm up to picking food out of dumpsters, but I'm not adverse to asking for leftovers on market day. Don't ask, don't get, I always say.


Front yard gardens.

Another growing movement in America, is well, growing things. Specifically food, and specifically in whatever inch of space you have available, including the front yard.

I really, really love this idea. It's not something that you would necessarily find in England, because most people don't have a front yard, or if they do it isn't particularly large. The front of our house is entirely paved over for a driveway, but there is a patch of land between the driveway and the public footpath. I might be able to grow something edible in there.

This front yard gardening causes a fair amount of controversy with neighbours and townships who think it is an eyesore and depreciates property values. With the cost of food skyrocketing and the dubious nature of GM crops looming over us, I say more power to them!

We all need to grow our own food, and there are so many resources online giving tips on how to utilise the space you have available.

I'm really excited because my runner beans and zucchini are taking off right now. I have a little tomato bush that is doing well, surprisingly, considering our weather conditions, and my fingers are crossed that a pumpkin or two will make an appearance. I get immense satisfaction from walking outside, picking food off a plant, and eating it for dinner. I have learned so much this year, with my tiny garden plot, and I can't wait to expand my skills and try new things next year! We have an allotment now, with five ex-battery hens in residence. It is too late in the season for me to wrap my head around planting anything at the allotment (there are still many, many weeds to eradicate), but next year I am determined to have a bumper crop!


Raw foods.

When I first heard about people who only eat raw foods, I thought "what about their meat? ew!"


I've been learning more about the raw food eating thing, and I've gotta say, I love the idea. I really enjoy fresh foods (see #3) and reading about raw food eating has bumped me into the direction of a radical overhaul of my eating habits.

I've decided to be vegetarian. This is probably a decision that is a long time coming, as we have reduced our meat intake drastically over the past few months, and it hasn't been a big deal. But I have made a proper mental change in what I'm going to eat and fix for my family, and I'm really excited!

As for eating everything raw, I don't think I can do that 100%. I like warm foods! I like soups and bread and other yummy things like hummus and nachos. But I'm trying to eat raw foods at least a lot of the time. Like, perhaps all morning until lunch, and any other snacks for the rest of the day.

One thing I am not doing is dieting. This isn't a weight-loss technique or a way to control my life through eating. It is a change for health, ethical and even religious reasons. Although eating all my food raw may not be for me, I am giving it a try and already feeling better for it. 


Eating my placenta.

Ah, yes. Speaking of eating things....

I would definitely cook/dehydrate my placenta.

(also, you are welcome for the above picture of a placenta... I could have chosen something far more realistic, believe you me)

I once read an article saying that eating the placenta is cannibalism and thus against what the Bible teaches.

This pulled me back a bit and made me wonder if I ate my placenta I would be inviting a thunder-bolt from above!

I'm still not sure about that one. I am currently reading a book about the Donner Party, and I've decided that I'd rather starve to death than eat another human being (aren't you glad you are reading my blog today?!).

But is that the same as eating my placenta? Does chewing your fingernails count as cannibalism? What about sucking on a scratch/bleeding wound? What about breastfeeding, for that matter? (slightly joking there)

Where do you draw the line on the issue? I don't really know. There are a lot of stories from women who have encapsulated or dried the placenta and felt amazing after their births.

I've suffered from PND in the past, but it was situational and I don't believe that I am particularly prone to depression. After my last birth at home, I was incredibly happy and at peace. There was no need for placenta eating at that point.

But hey, if there is a natural way to combat depression and that just so happens to be attached to the baby's no-longer needed umbilical cord, why not? I won't judge.

At least it's definitely free range, right?

(this bizarre list is brought to you by Women in the Scriptures blog hop)


Mandy Court said...

What a wonderfully fun list...except #5, that's just a little to strange for me :)

Shauna said...

I'm with Mandy. I liked it until #5, but I still like you. :)

Raisin4Cookies said...

I know, right? It's totally weird. What surprises me is that the more I am exposed to such ideas, the more they start to make a certain amount of sense....!

Heather@Women in the Scriptures said...

I love the idea of front yard gardens,because it seems like the front yard always gets the most sun and so is the most logical place to plant a garden. My problem is that I am such a terrible weeder that I'd hate for the whole neighborhood to see that. Much better to hide it in the back where I can disguise my ineptitude at gardening!

I love your list!

Raisin4Cookies said...

Oh, weeds. I'm terrible at that, too! Maybe we'll stick to the back garden and our allotment before ripping up the driveway. :D

Jennifer said...

I was going to encapsulate my placenta with my most recent baby, but ended up donating it to the National Children's Study instead. Maybe next time.

Raisin4Cookies said...

Interesting! I might look into that rather than eating it raw. ;D

Isobelle said...

I ate my placenta. Raw chunks whizzed up in fruit smoothies. :)

Raisin4Cookies said...

Interesting! Do you think it helped with PPD?