Going vegan # 2 / How to get started

To be honest we didn’t plan these 14 days of exploring the vegan lifestyle very much. We already live a flexitarian lifestyle but aim to eat even less meat. All of a sudden we felt the motivation to go all in and test vegan eating first hand. Within two days we began.

Some preparation is definitely recommendable but most importantly I would advice anyone wanting to reduce their meat consumption just to trial vegan or vegetarian eating and learn as they go along. However if you have any health conditions make sure you get the proper guidedance.

Vegan in a quick decision

For long we have aimed to reduce our meat consumption but it has proven more difficult than expected. For some time we have discussed how to take the next step and after watching an American documentary called ‘What the Health’ on Netflix we looked at each other and said:

“What if we went vegan for two weeks?”

I am not claiming that the documentary holds the whole truth. I think it is good entertainment and I am sure that most of what it states is true. I however also believe that some truth has been left out. Besides, taking place in the United States I believe that the average eating habits and lobbyisme are quite different from here in Denmark and Scandinavia in general.

None the less it inspired us to just try out plant based eating for a shorter period to experience benefits and challenges first hand.

Why go vegan

Basically we want to eat more plant based to reduce our negative impact on the environment.

Read more on how and why in my previous post.

Preparing to test vegan eating

All ready the same day we ordered a vegan meal box for four days from aarstiderne who delivers recipes and ingredients right to doorstep in Denmark and Sweden. This left us to only come up with vegan dinners for three days for the first week not to forget breakfast and lunch for the whole week.

We agreed to allow for our youngest who turns 8 months March 2nd to only try our vegan dished and otherwise continue with everything she would normally eat.

For our daughter who is three and son who is seven we agreed to inspired and push them gently to eat as much vegan as possible. Most importantly though make sure that the period was going to be fun meaning letting them eat something familiar and even animal based if necessary.

For breakfast we usually eat porrigde or oats and muesli with milk. The milk we replaced with oat milk. For coffee we bought soy milk with vanilla.

For lunch we bought a vegan pate, some pesto and made sure we had avocado and banana as safe choices for the kids.

Besides, we bought a little more vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts than usually and allowed for shopping a few more times than usually in order fir us to adjust as we went along.

Family of five going vegan for two weeks #1

For the next two weeks our family of five will embark on a vegan exploration trip. We will try to live as vegan as possible.

We do this because we have tried to cut down on our meat consumption for almost three years now. To be honest we have not found the journey easy. We all enjoy a great variety of vegatables but breaking free of old habits and favorite dishes have proven more difficult than first expected.

We want to eat more plant based because it is better for the environment. Producing meat require a lot of land and leads to high carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile we also believe more plant based foods will be beneficial for our health.

Status quo

Today we eat meat free dinners 1-2 times a weeks and going further have proven difficult for us. For lunch we still feel quite stuck in old habits of eating a lot of traditional Danish cold cut meats and some caned or smoked fish. 

Our goal

We aim to get a lot more plant based food into our eating habits while having fun exploring new foods. It is important to us that we use our curiosity during this test period.

We don’t expect to go all vegan after our exploration trip but we hope a lot more plant based products will find their way into our diets when animal based options are left out for two weeks.

I once heard a doctor say that children choose from whatever they have available. I very much believe this is true and hope once there is no meat available their natural curiosity will lead them and us for that matter towards some new plant based favorites.

Our youngest daughter is only 7 months at the beginning of this vegan exploration trip. She will try the food we eat but will besides that follow the national nutritional guidelines and get meat, fish, oils and supplements. Our other children are 3 and 7 years old. The eldest will eat almost fully vegan as we prepare the food he eats during school. Our eldest daughter is still in kindergarten where her lunch will be prepared. Her afternoon meal we prepare and this will be as vegan as possible.

Ups and downs living vegan

I hope to write a few more posts on our ups and downs during this journey but turning 38 this March I have finally got to know myself well enough to know that my ambitions are always sky-high and over optimistic. Somehow it is like I’m 18 again when I sit in from of my macbook. In reality many years have passed and three wonderful children take up a lot of my time leaving almost no time for hobbies like writing this blog.

Not a scientific study

Our vegan journey is by no means a scientific study and should not be seen as an attempt to claim that a vegan diet is more healthy than the diets suggested by health organizations around the world.

I highly recommend seeking guidance if you want to go all in on the vegan lifestyle for a longer period.



A Sustainable Wardrobe. How to get started

Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. The production process require enormous ressources and we the consumers unfortunately over-consume fashion heavily. Unfortunately, garments workers are also working under unthinkable and harsh conditions.

This post is about how to make your wardrobe more sustainable in terms of environmental concerns as well as socioeconomic considerations.

According to Fashion Revolution every piece of garment is merely used on average four times. Fashion Revolution further states Americans alone throw away approximately 14 million tonnes of garments each year which is more than 36 kg per person. To top that 84% of this goes into incineration or landfill.

I believe most people would act differently if they knew.

Maybe you didn’t know or maybe you did but still find it difficult to act which is why I want to share with you the first and relatively easy steps towards a more conscious wardrobe.

To make it easy I want you to think of only three words when you go shopping for clothing and textile the next time:

REDUCE  –  REUSE  –  RETHINK

REDUCE

Reduce means first of all love and use what you already have in your closet. Make sure every item is used more than the four times a garment is used on average. If you are really cool you don’t add anything new before you have worn out something else.

Secondly you could even consider reducing the amount of items in your closet. Several case studies show people with smaller and well considered wardrobes feel they have more options because they can see what the have and have planned their wardrobe carefully.

I have not yet strategically cleaned up my wardrobe – minimized it or made a capsule wardrope which it is also called in the fashion world. Instead I have heavily reduced the amount I put into my closet. If you have the energy to do the full clean-up and analysis of what you like and need the internet is full of good inspiration and tools. E.g.

In the photo on the top of the post my grey washed denim represents reduce. They have been used numerous times and are even repaired af few times as well. They are not from a sustainable brand as such but throwing them out now that they are part of my wardrobe wouldn’t make any sense.

REUSE

Reuse covers everything from buying and selling secondhand to renting and borrowing clothing.

For the past year around 2/3 of my purchases have been secondhand. I have however not yet tried out some of the upcoming clothing brands and stores who have build their concept around circular economy but I love the idea and will soon try these out as well.

From the picture the grey turtleneck represents reuse. It’s from Ralph Lauren and found in a local secondhand shop specialized in more premium brands. The turtleneck is neither ethical nor sustainable as far as I understand the business model of Ralph Lauren but buying premium brands often means better quality and longer lasting designs that allow for the items to be used for several years and shift owners. If you buy one expensive turtleneck in stead of 2-3 cheaper ones you save the planet from 2-3 times the pollution.

However when buying new the best option is to buy sustainable and ethicals which will save planet earth and textile workers for further harm and chemicals. Which RETHINK is all about.

RETHINK

Rethink means to think differently and ask questions. Question yourself what your favorite brands represent and do they represent values you approve. Furthermore questions brands and stores what they do to secure safe and sustainable production.

I know it looks and feels like a fashion jungle. Store personal rarely know anything about production methods, materials, ethics etc, but every now and then I run into some who does know.

I know I’m making harsh and rough assumptions now but I generally conclude that brands who doesn’t promote a ethical and sustainable production process in their communication don’t have anything positive to tell.

However according the just published Transparency Index from Fashion Revolution the top 150 fashion brands talk much more about policies and strategies than they talk about the actual results.

Buying certified items (e.g. GOTS certified) is the easiest way for us consumers to know people and environment have been treated with respect. Not all sustainable and ethical brands have certifications which is why I can highly recommend to find stores and webshops who have build their business around sustainable fashion.

gots-logo_131

A bit about materials

Part of rethink is to educate yourself a little on materials. For instance organic cotton pollutes much less than conventional cotton production as pesticides are not allow when growing organic cotton. The production process also contains less chemicals. They both demand huge amounts of water to grow. To avoid huge water consumption repurposed cotton is a better option.

Polyester is neither good for the environment as it requires huge amounts of chemicals  and is made from non renewable ressources like oil. However if made from plastic waste  like PET bottles the environmental impact is about half.

Like cotton viscose is produced from natural and renewable sources. Unfortunately viscose production is one of the most polluting processes. Huge amounts of chemicals and energi are used to transform wood into soft fibers applicable for the textile industry.

Tencel and Lycocell are much better choices. Tencel and Lycocell are basically the same except for Tencel being a trademark from one Lycocell producer. Tencel and Lycocell is produced from natural and renewable fibers (wood) in a shorter, cleaner and closed process making it much better for the environment.

Much more could be said about the above materials and further materials could be added but that will have to be a separate post. If you want to read more now check out e.g The Good Trade (In English) and Bedre Mode (in Danish)

Use common sense

Last but not least part of rethink is to use your common sense. If a t-shirts costs 10 Euro the store takes half giving 5 Euro to share between brand owner, textile worker, transportation, taxes, textile production, farmning etc. which doesn’t leave much money for safety, human rights and sustainability. Which is why quality above quantity is so important to build a sustainable and ethical wardrobe.

Once you have begun asking questions I’m positive that the new items you buy will be cherished more, worn more which means rethinking your choices will also help you reduce your wardrobe.

Rethink is represented by the wool socks from Icelandic Farmers Market who carefully choose materials and suppliers producing long lasting products mixing tradition and modernity.

A few other conscious brand that I like are:

 

Happy journey

I hope the above thoughts and advices does not scare you. You don’t have to do it all at once. Pick one word (REDUCE, REUSE or RETHINK) and start slowly. Every little step matters.

The big fashion companies do not notice that you leave them but the small entrepreneurs running a sustainable business will notice and appreciate every purchase you make with them.

Thank you for reading until the end. I wish you a Happy Conscious Journey :o)

Further reading from MoreConscious

The fashion battle is  on! Fashion Revolution week and mid-season-sale all in the same week

Please make second hand clothing fashionable

Make each clothing live longer  

Mindfulness meditation and holistic sustainability

Maybe you think meditation and mindfulness is some fashionable flower power nonsense or you might think it is a quick-fix to all your worries.

The truth is none of it quite describe mindfulness and mediation as I have met it. Meditating can definitely be challenging one day and (almost) a walk in the park the next day.

Through meditation I have found a gateway to the true me and a way to accept myself and my life as it is. By being more mindful, doing one thing at the time, meditating and listening to my body, thoughts and feelings I have made more room for me and I have found more energy for other people.

In a busy life I know it seems impossible to find 20 minutes to do yoga or meditation. Most of us do not prioritize our own mental health especially after having children but you might have experienced – as I did – being hit by overwhelming tiredness as soon as you sit down at dinner. Others might have experienced that they are completely out of energy for the second half of their workday or at home after dinner where the sofa and the television rapidly eat 2-3 hours of your evening. I have experienced all the above and I felt caught up in constant tiredness. I felt I never had time to do the things that I liked.

Though I am still new into practicing mindfulness and meditation I quickly experienced first of all calmness, secondly increased awareness, thirdly more energy and last but not least more gratitude towards myself and my surroundings. I am confident that many people would benefit from allowing themselves small mindful breaks during the day to retain a healthy energy level throughout the day.

I know this post isn’t directly related to an action taking me or my family in a more sustainable direction in terms of environmental sustainability. I believe however that there is a clear connection between how we care for our own health (mentally and physically) and how much each of us can impact the sustainability of Planet Earth. Read on to get my story and my first experiences into the world of meditation and mindfulness.

My first meeting

Exactly a year ago I was finding the courage to leave behind my professional career as a marketing and innovation professional within the international Food and Beverage industry. The decision should in reality never have been hard as I had not been happy for years. In fact my life was making me sick.

Somehow I did not have the time nor the courage to listen to the voice inside telling me I was hurting myself. I even also ignored almost permanent head aches, neck tensions and a growing number of anxiety attacks. Today this makes me sad and nausea to think of but that’s another story.

Before I handed in my notice I had already booked my first 8 week MBSR course (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). My therapist had recommended me to do the course and though I was a little skeptical I also knew I needed to do something completely different.

“If you change nothing – nothing will change”

The course turned out to be a great help to me. First of all because I had already started while I was ending my job. This way the course became part of my transition period helping me cope with my physical and psychological reactions to the wonderful but scary vacuum of having no job attachments.

When I left my job it was hard for me to really relax or enjoy life. I felt relief of course but anyway I kept busy like I have done my whole life. Ever since high school and throughout University I have kept myself busy. I was busy going out with friends, busy playing handball, busy studying, working, shopping, being creative etc. I never lacked ideas for party themes, home decoration projects, sewing creations, baking experiments you name it and I have always said that I could never be bored but today I would say I choose never to be bored.

In my newfound freedom with no job obligations I felt guilt whenever I didn’t produce something, considered new career directions or performed everyday family tasks.

It became clear to me that I never did only one thing at the time. If I was cooking I was also noting down our grocery list, judging my achievements of the day, planning the next steps of the evening and building up anxiety about not being able to make it all before bedtime.

If I was playing with my kids I was planning dinner, revisiting my to-do-list, checking my iPhone etc. Small habits like finding my car keys several minutes before reaching my car to optimize time suddenly caught my attention when I slowed down and started practicing more mindfulness.

This post will become way too long if I were to list all the habits, routines and thoughts that I realized were unhealthy to me but the list of questions below is show some of my insights:

  • Why does it matter what everyone else thinks?
  • Why does it scare my to ask for help?
  • What happens if I’m not always strong?
  • Why is my to-do-list always impossible to complete and what does it do to me?
  • Do I like my life today and what is important to me?
  • What are my anxiety triggers?
  • Does everything have to be perfect?
  • Who am I really and do I like who I am?

I have not yet answered all the questions and maybe I will never answered them hich is okay thanks to the MBSR course.

Secondly the course was helpful to me because of the brain science taught mixed up with individual homework. As a result of the homework I became much more attentive to the small things in life which has increased my awareness and my gratitude towards myself and my surroundings which again has increased my happiness. Another result of the homework is my improved understanding of my anxiety and how it is triggered.

Though I am sure you have heard it before I find it helpful and important to state once more…

“There is no such thing as a perfect life. It might look so on Facebook and Instagram but don’t let yourself be fooled and caught up in a spider web of sticky unrealistic expectation.”  

About the MBSR program

During the course participants are encouraged to meditate daily besides the weekly three-hour group meetings. At the group meetings instructors make guided meditations and they teach the nature of the mind. Participants are encouraged to share experiences but it is completely voluntarily. The atmosphere of the groups I have participated in have been was amazing. I felt incredibly safe and welcome. The aim of the program is to teach people to take better care of themselves as well as living healthier and more adaptive lives.

Mindfulness is about being aware of what you do, about slowing down to detect your autopilots, about detecting what goes on inside you and acknowledging it without judging it. Not-judging is essential as we humans tend to be our own worst critic. Suppressing feelings, emotions and thoughts can be useful in certain situations but generally paying attention to the above and allowing uncertainty, frustration, sorrow, pain, happiness etc. to be part of ones life is beneficial in the long run. It is part of every human being’s life at some point anyway.

Scientifically proven

When embarking on a journey to increase your mindfulness you can start in many ways right from downloading a meditation app to enrolling in seminars or courses. Choosing a programme taught by a MBSR certified instructor is your guarantee that the programme follows the procedures of the original and scientifically proven program developed more than 35 years ago by ph.d. Jon Kabat-Zinn at University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMAMS).

Jon Kabat-Zinn has proved his program capable of teaching participants how to use their innate resources and abilities to respond more effectively to stress, pain, and illness. More than 24.000 people have completed the MBSR program. Read more about the MBSR principles, history and scientific studies at UMAMS’s homepage.

This week I finished my second MBSR course since last autumn. I did my first 8 week MBSR course at the University of Aarhus which is a collaboration partner with UMAMS. I can highly recommend this course. Find more information on the program from Aarhus University.

Establishing a daily routine with mindfulness

If you wonder why I needed another course it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the course but merely human nature. I did my second course to get further reflections and most importantly to get help changing my habits and routines to include mindfulness on a daily basis.

Sometimes I find the meditation in it self difficult but during the courses I have learned to accept some days are better than others meaning to me the difficult part is allowing myself time to practice mindfulness every day. It is ironic as I have experienced how it does me good but for someone who has never really prioritized my own health mentally and physically this change apparently takes months if not years.

Getting closer to holistic sustainability

Earlier on this journey to a more sustainable life I wanted to do several actions to rapidly reduce our negative environmental impact all together. I did what I have always done: 10 things at the same time. I wanted to do something within food, fashion, travelling, knitting, cleaning and much more all at once. On top communicating about it while I was trying to establishing personal routines that where better for my health. No wonder I didn’t find myself successful.

Some months ago I let go a little of the global sustainability focus and allowed myself to focus more on my personal health increasing my number of mindful breaks and really decreasing my speed and expectation which have been wonderful.

This post is based on my experiences with mindfulness and meditation during the past year. The post is created without any collaboration and is non sponsored.

Namaste ♥

The fashion battle is on. Fashion Revolution Week and Mid Season Sale all in the same week.

This week consumers all over the world will hopefully have experienced posts on social media and events in major cities asking the question: Who made my clothes? Which is one of the questions Fashion Revolution wants consumers to ask their brands in order to demand transparency and decent human rights in an industry they call exploiting, opaque and damaging. During the same week major retail and fashion stores in my home country Denmark launch their Mid-Season sales. What a contrast!

Continue reading to learn more about the Fashion Revolution organization, working conditions of textile workers in Bangladesh and how to become more conscious in your shopping.

About Fashion Revolution

The grass-root organization began after the fashion industry saw the tragic dead of 1138 textile workers 4 years ago. In Bangladesh where a great part of our fast fashion items are produced at a very little cost more than 2000 workers where trapped and injured when a building collapsed at the Rana Plaza site on April 24th. In the following days the number of lost lifes passed 1100 and the Fashion Revolution was born founded by designers, brand owners, producers, writers, fashionista and many more who came together to celebrate and unite fashion, people and environment. Fashion Revolution is pro-fashion but fashion as fair fashion for everyone involved in the supply chain.

Fashion Revolution week

The Fashion Revolution week marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy and runs for a week around the 24th of April. The idea is for us consumers to ask our favorite brand: Who Made My Clothes? By doing so we use one of our most important weapons: our questions. The industry cannot change or will not change if they do not see a demand. Our questions show a demand.

This year it has been 4 years since the Rana Plaza tragedy and despite many major fashion companies signing legally binding agreements to improve the working conditions very little still seem to have happened. According to The Guardian a 2016 study showed that only 7 out of  1,660 factories have completed implementing their corrective action plans, while another 57 factories where on track with the plans. About 1,388 factories where behind schedule, 186 factories had not yet finalized their corrective action plans and 22 had not implemented them at all.

Besides the lack of human working conditions The Guardian described early this year  how garment workers in Bangladesh have been demonstrating to tripple their wages. Which sound optimistic and maybe like a high raise but the sad truth is that the current level at 54GBP per month and the triple amount are both short of what is considered a living wage. To make things even worse workers demonstrating have been fired and workers now generally feel bullied by police and employers. They need us to fight their fight and make their voices heard. Asking questions demanding to know who makes our clothing and how these people are treated can make a difference.

5 tips to a join the Mid Season sale in a More Conscious manor

Another powerful weapon we consumers can use is our money. You have probably heard  “Money talks” before. With money we can show the industry we care about how fellow human beings are treated when producing the clothes we wear.

The Mid-Season sale, Black Friday, Rivegilde, Super Bazar or what ever shopping events around the world are called they are not created for the sake of consumers nor the textile workers. It is created to make us swipe our credit cards to buy a little (or a lot) more than we need to in the end fill the bank accounts of shareholders behind the retailers and brand owners.

I fully acknowledge that every now and then we all need something new and though second hand shopping is best for the environment I also want new stuff every now and then. Buying the right new clothing sends a signal to the fashion industry. Which is why I have put together a few tips to buy right and avoid over consumption and maybe even over spending if you can’t resist the mid-season sales.

  1. Take a honest look at your wardrobe and consider what you really need
  2. Make a list of the things you need and stick to it
  3. Shop ethical and sustainable brands that are GOTS certified (guarantees you ethically and sustainably produced textiles). If not possible go for organic cotton and ask the shop personel about how the brand in question treats their supply chain. The Øko or OEKO tex label does not stand for organic production as you might think. Instead it guarantees that the products are tested for and free from harmful chemicals. See pictures of the two certificates below.
  4. Allow yourself 1 or 2 unplanned items at a maximum price depending on your financial situation. Try to think rather 1 good quality item that will last for years in stead of several items that don’t last long. A recent study from Greenpeace and Fashion Revolution show that the average consumer buys 60% more clothing today than the average consumer did back in 2000 and keep each item half the time. No wonder the clothing production has doubled since 2000. Last but not least as much as 40% of clothes are rarely or never worn and on average each piece of clothing is only used 4 times.
  5. Bring your own bag from home. Your textile shoppers are only good for the environment if you use them.

More conscious shopping is all about knowing more, buying better and making each clothing last longer. Make your choices send a signal to brands and retailers that you don’t accept inhuman working conditions.

If you feel inspired to learn more the documentary The True Cost gives a really good picture of how the fashion industry is run and at which cost for humans and for our planet. The film also shows how things can be done and are being done differently by some brands. The film should be available on Netflix, Amazons, iTunes etc.

This post is mainly about the working conditions which is the main focus of the Fashion Revolution. Another big issue with the fashion and textile industry is however the fact that it is ranked as the second most polluting industry in the world. Your fashion choices and habits matters also in terms of environmental impact. Read more in my previous post Make each clothing live longer.

Does a break to rethink life sound tempthing? To me it did

And I could add: it still does! Since late 2016 my key hanger has been empty lying in my top drawer. I left a challenging job in a global food company behind. I had wonderful, competent and passionate colleagues around me and a pipeline full of interesting projects as well as the opportunity to fill it with evenmore interesting innovations. Anyway something didn’t feel right.

The journey to accept it and act on it has been long and hard. I don’t know exactly when it began. I am however not in doubt that my motivation had left me already before I left on maternity leave with my youngest in April 2015. To begin with I thought maybe it was just my pregnancy leaving me without energy this second time. Anyone having two or more children know time to relax when there’s already one child in the family is limited. But during my leave I even had proplems enjoying time with my daughter. Small everyday tasks easily overwhelmed me especially as returning to work came closer.  By the end of my leave my energy and motivation never came back like it had done the first time around.

I went back to work in February 2016 when my daughter was 9 months old. I know we are privileged in Denmark but the days felt ever so long and yet never long enough to really get a firm grip of my projects again. When I returned I landed in the middle of a huge reorganization which after a few months led to me moving to a new category still focusing on innovation. Something however still felt wrong. I started seeing a coach and I promised myself to give my new job a proper chance. The truth is that every month I dreamt of leaving. I remember those months almost a year ago as horrible for me and for my family. I was so low on energy trying to make it work and doing my best.

In Behind the blog I write more about how we as a family were at a cross road to either slow down and simplify or speed up; buy more help, an extra car and cut more corners. But boy it felt wrong! If I didn’t already feel fed up with our lifestyle – the thought of a life in which we were to speed up further and keep our eyes conveniently shut to how our busy and unconscious overconsumption influences the planet we live and rely on – surely made me dishy and nausea.

In reality the decision was quite obvious but the process of taking the decision was anything but easy. I felt so many uncertainties connected to leaving my job. Will I ever get a similar job again? And do I want a similar job? What if I regret? What about my pension? What about insurances? What if I don’t get better? What if we don’t getter better as a family? What will other people think?

For someone who has used most of my adult life trying to do what other people expect or even worse what I think they expect instead of listening to what I deep down inside want to do was hard. Beside seeing a coach, taking a highly recommendable intensive MBSR course at Aarhus University led me to connect better to myself. The actual decision making took almost 18 months and I would encourage  anyone with similar thoughts to make the decision much quicker. Being caught up in thoughts, dreams and worries for so long drain you for energy and leave you unable to enjoy life when it happens – right now.

I felt relief like I have never felt it before once I had made my decision. Everyday I am grateful it is possible for me to take a year to rethink my life. Now five months into my break I’m much more positive about the future and I’m much better at enjoying the moment.

For long it has been a dream of mine to make a difference in the world. I’m now certain that putting sustainability at the center of my activities both privately and workwise is right for our family and me.

  • I want to start small cleaning up our own cupboards and habits
  • I will investigate where and how to start
  • I will listen
  • I will experiment and I will share our experiences, ups and downs with everyone who wants to listen
  • I intent not to preach instead I hope to inspire and wish for dialogue
  • I do not know where we will end nor what success looks like
  • As long we have minimized our environmental impact on the planet while feeling more happy and content I will celebrate succes – any day

Want to hear more from more.conscious

I believe Fashion, Food and Traveling are essential for us to rethink if we want to build a sustainable lifestyle. I already have two posts on fashion on my blog: One on the cost of clothing and why we need to make it last longer and one on second hand clothing.

Beside more posts are to come e.g. on the options within sustainable and ethical children’s fashion.

Sign up to follow our journey at the bottom of this page or follow more.consciuos.aarhus on Instagram.

 

Gluten and dairy free buns based on oat and quinoa flour

These delicious gluten free buns are incrediblely easy to make. Within less than two hours you have 15 delicious buns ready to eat. For this recipe I have used psyllium husks, popped quinoa and dried dates, figs and apples.

The buns are intended to be eaten as they are and are ideal for on-the-go like the children’s lunch box. They however also taste wonderful with butter, jam or chocolate.

What to add

15 g of organic yeast

5dl lukewarm water

20 g of psyllium husks

20 g of popped quinoa

150 g of quinoa flower

200 g of oat flour

50 g of dried fruits

1 teaspoon of salt

What to do

  1. Mix water and yeast
  2. Add psyllium husks and quinoa flour. Whip to an even and sticky paste. Leave for 5 minutes
  3. Add the remaining ingredients but hold back a bit of the flour. Knead until the dough is even.
  4. The dough is still sticky but adding water onto your hands you allow you to shape 15-16 buns
  5. Let the buns rise for 45-60 minutes
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 200ºC in a preheated hot air oven

The buns stay fresh and soft for a few days but may also be keep in the freezer if needed.

There’s no allergy towards gluten in our family. My reason for experimenting with a recipe for gluten free buns originates from my curiosity and my belief that it is better to eat a wide variety of foods to avoid later developing allergies. In many aspects of life I believe more focus on preventing than curing no matter if we are taking illness, bullying or car accidents would be beneficial and effective.

Links

For this recipe I went all in on products from Danish based Urtekram. Everything except from the water, yeast and psyllium husks are Urtekram products which are always organic.  I’m a big fan of their products.

The butter on the photo is Lurpak. Probably the best butter in the world ♡

Last but not least I have to mention our favorite chocolate slices (pålægschokolade in Danish). Wonder what to call this great product as I believe it does not exist outside Denmark. Hope you get what I mean. It is thin slices of chocolate to put onto bread like a slice of cheese. We have fallen in love with the 72 percent dark chocolate from änglamark which is organic and fairtrade.

Though it could look like it this post contains no affiliate links. It is the results of my honest opinions, experiences and beliefs.

I hope you enjoy

 

Please make second hand clothing fashionable

Fashion, food and traveling are three crucial subjects to address when rethinking your life to  become more sustainable. In this post I’m going to share a bit of our thoughts and experiences with second hand clothing.

First of all it makes a lot of sense to buy second hand clothing as textile manufactoring especially the methods within fast fashion do no good except to the shareholders. The fashion and textile industry is the second biggest polluter in the world. Recent years’ unconscious fashion consumption led by the devastating and addictive fast fashion industry have had grave effect on the environment. Read more in my previous post about how to make each piece of clothing last as long as possible.

We both sell and buy second hand clothes. Especially within children’s fashion the market is huge in Denmark and it is widely accepted to use second hand. Which makes a lot of sense as children usually grow out of their clothes before they wear them out. Looking at our own consumption I’ll admit that both of our children have much more clothing than they need. Analyzing our old habits I would say we could easily cut of 25-40% of their stock. I would like to reduce this and especially the part that we have bought from new.

I have always found a scarf and a shirt occasionally in local second hand shops but I have never found the majority of my clothing second hand. For 2017 I’m going to test how much I can find second hand. For the new things I’m going to buy it has to be ethical but I’ll get back to that in another post.

Earlier this week I went to a local charity second hand shop. I found seven pieces of clothing of which I’m going to use four of them the way they are. The dress needs to be shorten 5 cm and two of the shirts are intended for DIY dresses for my 20 months old daughter. Three items (the animal printed turtleneck, the scarf and the black and white striped top in the bottom right corner) are already in use. My favorite is without doubt the black and white striped shirt which will be a cornerstone in my wardrobe this spring.

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When blogging is scary

I have to admit that I’m struggling with my perfectionism when creating this blog. I promised myself that I would have at least two solid posts with some proper academic research published before I started promoting the blog. Which I still believe makes sense.

However I start doubting if I ever get those two posts finalized. The truth is I feel that my stories are never really good enough. I’m afraid of not being taken serious meanwhile it also feels scary to put my own life, my thoughts and my feeling at display but deep down inside I want to. I hope that the sustainability journey I have embarked with my family will inspire one, two or even hundreds of other families to become more conscious of the impact of their daily choices – their lifestyle – have on our planet. Read more about us and why I blog.

A good example of one of my never-good-enough posts is a post about the true cost of cut flowers. I’ve been working on the post several times during the past month and it was supposed to have been published before Valentines Day this year. I just haven’t pinned it yet. Damn perfectionism!! Maybe I’ll make it before Valentines Day 2018.

I guess it is a quite common challenges for all new bloggers. Hey! I just called myself a blogger. I guess that is what I am with all the upsides and downsides to the profession.

Going forward I’ll try to be a little less scared. Actually I’ll correct myself I’ll try to face my fear of failure more head-on. I acknowledge that the things that scare us are the things that are important to us which is why I came to think of an old postcard (in the picture above).

I bought it some years ago and I had it next to my computer at work until I quit working late 2016. I had the exact same thoughts when I worked as a Innovation manager within the FMCG industry. Going into steering committee meetings I never felt prepared enough. I always felt behind. I  could pinpoint the 10 things I should have done differently instead of the 100 I did right. Guess how I felt? Correct! Not great.

To remind me that there is no such thing as perfect I’ll find a place in my home for the postcard. Sometimes you get it right. Sometimes you get it wrong but no one gets it 100 percent 100 percent of the time. The important thing is to keep trying.

Btw the postcard is made by Stine Aamose who is one of my favorite graphic designers. I bougth it at a design market called Finders Keepers in Denmark.

A few posts that did not feel to scary

Behind the blog

Children love new toys even if they are preloved

Please make second hand clothing fashionable

Make each clothing live longer