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Update on Green Living

I am proud to say that I have avoided bringing at least 150 plastic bags into my home in the last 2 months! And I feel good about it. If you look at my previous post https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/happytimebreak.wordpress.com/1170 I talked about the steps I’d been taking to try to live a greener lifestyle despite the pandemic. I just want to share some updates on this topic.

So first of all I was very pleased with the set of 4 cotton bags (Red Earth brand) I’d ordered from Amazon. These are sturdy bags with at least six side pockets on the inside which is very handy while loading bottles or jars. They did shrink a little after machine wash (I do wash them in quick wash setting after every grocery trip in cold water and then air dry them).

But soon I realized they were not enough so I ordered a set of 5 cotton canvas bags as well as a set of 10 cotton mesh bags. The latter came in large, medium and small sizes and I use them for buying produce. I wash the canvas bags in machine but hand wash the mesh ones. And yes ALL of them did shrink as they are made of 100% cotton but they are still roomy enough for the average grocery shopping trip.

Loading grocery in the cotton bags followed by unloading, washing, drying, and folding them may seem like a tedious process but in the end it’s all worth it especially when I look back on the number of plastic bags that I avoided bringing into my home and sending them to the recycling center!

Yes often we kid ourselves into thinking that we’ve done a great job at recycling but not every piece of plastic gets recycled and if they do, some of them are turned into products that may not be able to be recycled further! So it just makes sense to “avoid” getting plastic and non recyclable things into our homes in the first place!

Hope this post inspires anyone out there who is trying to get started on living sustainably. More in a future post!

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Fragrant Apple Ambrosia

 

Ingredients

2-3 medium sized apples, chopped

1/3 cup water

3 black peppercorns

2 cloves crushed

1/2 tbsp chopped ginger

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp golden raisins

Method

Add chopped apples, peppercorns, cloves, ginger and water to a saucepan and cook on medium high heat for 5 min. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar and cook on low for 25 min or until apple mixture begins to soften.

Serves 3-4. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon if you like before serving.

Enjoy this savory, wholesome recipe – a warm accompaniment to those cool mornings in fall and winter. In ayurveda, cooked apples are tridoshic, meaning they balance all the 3 doshas – vata, pitta and kapha.

Magic of Everyday

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We all need a little bit of magic sometimes. That magic is all around us, we are just not aware (most of the times). When I created the above set in polyvore, I didn’t realize I was making magic. Little did I know it would make its way into my blog and serve as an inspiration. I was totally immersed in the process of putting together images and texts, choosing backgrounds and colors – everything that seems so mundane now when I think about it, but herein lies the truth! The nature of the task is not as important as our ability to lose ourselves in the act and that I believe is called Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is something we practice, we observe. And how do we do this? By simply becoming AWARE of whatever we are doing at the moment. For example while painting, we can purposefully become aware of the depth of the colors – the brightness of the reds and oranges or the deepness of the blues and violets. We can also practice mindfulness by simply appreciating a hot cup of tea on a chilly morning, savoring every sip, relishing the flavor and gently observing the wispy ribbons of steam as they float away.

We live in a digitally driven crazy world in which it is even more crucial to take care of our mind, keeping it sharp, focused and most of all grounded. And mindfulness helps us achieve this.¬†We don’t have to be a genius to observe the simple things in life. We just need to REMEMBER to do it as often as possible until it becomes a pleasant habit. What comes out of doing it? A peaceful mind for sure but also a grateful heart that is moved by the ethereal beauty of a dewdrop which probably then translates to a piece of poetry, canvas or even an interesting blog post!