Meatless Mondays

Surfing the internet, the other day, I came across a brilliant idea!

The idea was to start to have Meatless Mondays as part of a strategy to cut down on the cost of groceries.

Well, for me, that makes perfect sense! This is for several reasons, and some of them are rather obvious for those who know me. You see, I’m Vegetarian, and will be celebrating my 20th year as someone who doesn’t eat meat by 2020.

But I’d like to confirm that eating Vegetarian does save heaps of money. My monthly budget for food is around the $50 to $60 mark. This is partly because I know how to cook, and make a point of never throwing out food. My left overs are always cooked into something else the following night.

Now, I get the idea that Vegetarianism isn’t for everyone. But I thought to add my voice to those who already endorse going Vegetarian from time to time, to cut costs. And that’s not even taking into account that it’s actually a very healthy alternative to meat.

So, here are some ideas about eating Vegetarian.

If concerned you’ll be hungry after cutting out the meat, drink water. It’ll fill the crevices nicely, and you’ll be saving money and weight at the same time.

If soaking beans sounds like too much trouble, just think of it like pulling the steak out of the freezer the night before. Except that instead of defrosting meat on the bench/in the fridge, you’re boiling the kettle and pouring hot water over beans in a bowl/container instead, and leaving them to soak. Failing this, there are always the tinned variety.

And thirdly, here’s a recipe I love. I’m including it because it’s the Vegetarian version of bolognese.

Ingredients (serves 4 – 6)

1 ¼ cup brown lentils, pre-soaked

Salt and black pepper

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

Left over vegies/tin of corn

400g tin tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato puree

Basil or any Italian herbs

Method

  1. Simmer lentils until they can be mashed with a fork. Discard water.

  2. Heat oil in frying pan and fry onion and garlic

  3. Add vegies/corn and continue frying

  4. Add lentils, tomatoes and puree

  5. Add the salt, pepper and herbs, to taste.

  6. Simmer until sauce is thick.

This recipe can be turned into spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, served on toast, made into a meatless loaf, or anything else that the meat variety can be used. It’s also significantly cheaper, with lentils costing very little in comparison to mince.

Try it and give me feedback!

ANZAC Day’s Dark Secret

Okay, here it is.

I have a Blog, and therefore, the option of turning it into a soap box when a good reason arises.

And today just so happens to be ANZAC Day.

Since it’s a national event, I’ll bring forward my posting to today, instead of tomorrow.

Growing up in Australia, I was taught that ANZAC Day was a time when we, as a nation, looked back and acknowledged how horrible war is, and how we need to work towards a world where there is no war.

It’s a line I believed and still believe.

War is terrible. It takes lives when people return from war too. A huge amount of men and women who return home from service suicide, as what they have borne witness to is indescribable and in a civilised world, has no place. PTSD, and other trauma related illnesses plague these brave people even when there is safety. Yes, war leaves scars. And the most terrible of these are the scars no one can see.

So, today, I’ll turn my Blog into a soap box, as there is something insidious happening when the nation mourns her dead.

ANZAC Day marks the largest recruitment drive in the Armed Services’ Calendar.

Yep. It’s the day when all those school children feel Patriotic, and when they turn the magical age of 18, they turn this feeling into the action of signing their lives away in order to be called up to serve their country.

The Cynic in me must speak out.

I said in my Welcome (check the other static page of Liz’s Everest), that I have values.

Well, if today is a day of mourning and an occasion to renounce war, seeing it as the crime it truly is, then as active members of our community, we need to speak out.

Today, we leave all things Patriotic on the shelf. Instead we embrace the youth of today and let them know about life, Real Life. And Real Life doesn’t involve wishing to die in a foreign land for a foreign power for a foreign cause.

So, stand firm with Life, and work against this evil. Stand up for what’s right, and email your local Member of Parliament, and ask them to stand with us, as we end this horrible crime.

Let us work towards Peace instead.

Whistling down the wind

There’s a Scandinavian saying “Whistle down the wind.”

It means to use your breath to connect with a stronger force, the wind.

Another way of interpreting this, is to use the love in your heart, to connect with love in a larger form, whether this be love for another, be it your dog, another human, or your spirituality.

I was introduced to this turn of phrase by Ace of Base in their song, “Life is a Flower”. Listening to this song and enjoying the tune, it took me another ten years to actually understand what they meant by Whistling down the wind.

A lovely Scandinavian lady I knew in my home town, was talking about the need to keep positive and she used this saying from her own homeland. It was then that I finally put the pieces together. It took this dearly loved song to another level for me.

Many different religions have ways to whistle down the wind. Some pray, while others do things like burn incense. The main idea is to feel as though one is connecting with a force larger and more powerful than themselves. This force is to give strength in times of need, comfort, and support during every day life.

Sometimes, there are every day practices that can strengthen an individual’s ability to do this. An example is meditating, which is well known in it’s ability to calm a person, and create a heightened awareness of the Divine.

So, whistle down the wind, in whatever form works for you, and see how it changes your life.

Words

This is only a short post. Basically, my usual access to the internet is out of commission so I’m using my phone.

I’d like to leave you this week, thinking about the importance of words. Simple words, which we all use so unconsciously, have such power.

They undress our thoughts and reveal our character. Our words can tear us apart or bring us closer together.

So, be aware of the words you use. Pay attention to how they’re received. They are a real gift.

Use them wisely.

Rebirth and Easter

Easter is a time of Rebirth, and is being celebrated through out many countries and cultures in the world, and so we’ll explore this in this Post.

Rebirth is a concept that many different cultures and religions recognise. It simply means an occasion when someone goes through a profound and spiritual change. In some religions, this takes the form of physical rebirth when someone dies and then is reincarnated. In some forms of Christianity it means re-finding a person’s Faith within their religion and relationship with God.

How does this relate with Easter?

Well, according to most Christians, Christ died, was buried, and on Easter Day, was brought back to life. This is another concept related to Rebirth.

Much of the decor and tradition includes symbols of Rebirth. There are chocolate eggs, which are a sign of new life, and rabbits, who breed rather abundantly, and chickens and the like. These are all tied into the concept of New Life.

How can this, regardless of religion, help an individual?

Sometimes, re-examining life and asking where it is all leading, is a good starting point in causing a Rebirth in one’s own experience. Usually, this is done around New Year’s, when resolutions are put into place and good intentions abound.

But, Easter, with its theme of Rebirth, is another occasion when it is suitable to sit down with oneself and work out how many of these resolutions are being put into practice. How successfully have these been implemented? Do these need to be re-adjusted, tweaked, or completely scrapped?

In 2018, it is at the beginning of April that Easter has been celebrated. We’re only three months into the year. This means that it is especially timely to follow through and look at where it’s all heading.

There are another nine months of the year ahead. The time now can be put to good use, ensuring that these months are filled with achievable goals, milestones reached, and all round success for the resolutions that have been worked on.

This week’s assignment, is to find some quiet time, some quiet space, and some quiet going within, to work out where you can experience a Rebirth of sorts, and work out how close you are to achieving all your hopes and resolutions this year.

Ikaria

Diet, exercise, a sense of purpose for living, plus close relationships all point to the Ikaria way of life. And this is significant in that people on this little Greek Island far outlive people in other areas of the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icaria

It’s possible to forgive yourself for not looking after your body, but it doesn’t mean that your body will forgive you. But there are some ways a person can turn this around. And it’s rather simple – just focus on these Ikarian characteristics:

Diet – this doesn’t mean that you deprive yourself of anything you enjoy. Everything in moderation. But, eating like the Ikarians means that you’ll consume more fruit and vegetables than any other food group. For a snack, grab an apple or mandarin. Carrots and other vegetables, dipped in hummus are also good substitutes for filling up on chips and biscuits, and all of these, especially hummus, are filling. And when cooking, add more vegies that any other ingredient.

Exercise – Ikarians are known for walking instead of driving. The practical benefits of this can be extended to cycling and jogging as all these forms of exercise take you from one place to another for very little, if any, cost. It also saves on petrol, which means less guilt towards the environment.

A sense of purpose – this is most important. This means having a clear reason to get out of bed in the morning. Having a sense of purpose, or a reason for living has even been found to be a key trait in helping people survive natural disasters. This characteristic of Ikaria can be adopted and brought into every day life through a myriad of ways, including volunteering, being involved with community, and is closely linked to the next point in this article.

Having close relationships – this means developing relationships not only in your family, but also with friends and in the greater community. One of the quickest and most effective ways I’ve found to do this, is to simply let people be themselves in your company. This doesn’t mean compromising your own boundaries, but simply looking at all individuals as though they are innocent, and maintaining a non-judgemental outlook.

So now you can enjoy life like an Ikarian.