The day was April 16, 2011. That was the day I started fasting once a week and giving the value of what I didn’t consume to those who have less.
Not So Fast began just a few days after the idea came to me, and I knew it would be a long process of putting this whole beautiful thing together, but I wanted to start right away.
Since that very first day, a few (awesome) things have gone down. A blog or two, some great discussions, a few meetings, some great food, and all of you (wonderful readers and friends -xxx)!
But enough about me.
I am honored today (back to a new recipe tomorrow!) to send you over to Somer’s blog to read her story and to see how easily a simple concept can bring beautiful people together from all over this big, beautiful world.
If you’d like to get involved, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com.
I’d love to hear from you!
A HUGE thank you to all who so generously donated to our cause this past two weeks, we are honored by your actions and look forward to sharing even more (in less). Our second cooking class kicks off this week, so stay tuned!
Carla & Chris. Chris & Carla. I love these guys, and soon, you will too (I hope).
Both are bound by love and their mutual interests. Chris and Carla are both (beautiful) healthy folks who live the good life in pretty much every sense of the word. They work hard, they play hard, they eat well, and give back when they can.
While these two beautiful souls are surely extraordinary, they are also just really good, regular folk who are blessed to have their health, their happiness, and each other.
Like me or (maybe) like you.
Carla has been a huge supporter of Not So Fast since the early days, and so a few months ago both Chris and Carla decided to put themselves to the test for the benefit of others.
For those of you who are new to this blog, you may wonder what this has to do with food and delicious recipes. If you like, you can find more info here and here (I’d be honoured).
IPOM exists to share healthy, accessible recipes and inspire new (delicious) ways to live with (just a little) less.
This is a story outlining how small changes can be turned into real food for real people who have less.
How does it work?
Go without: Chris and Carla decided to fast for 40 days, by going without one specific luxury for 40 days.
The money they didn’t spend on what they would have consumed would be donated to feed those who have less.
Make It Real: Keep a journal (we are making something very special for this). Write in in your calendar. Tweet it.
By giving record, you make it real. After all, shouldn’t you take credit for your awareness and good deeds?
Feed People. We’ll do that, and soon we’ll tell you how. Or, get involved in your local community.
Here are Chris and Carla’s Stories…
Carla’s Challenge: Carla chose to go without any refined sugar for 40 days.
For those of us who are lucky to work with this lady like me, we know she works hard. She takes great care of herself. And she likes treats (but not too many).
We knew this would be tough..
Chris chose to go without all alcohol for 40 days.
This was in the midst of a few upcoming weddings. And weekends (those darned weekends)!
Chris, like Carla, is somewhat the picture of good health. They are both moderate people. But they, like all of us, have vices*, or things in their life they do not wish to be controlled by.
*(unless you don’t)
Here are a few thoughts direct from Chris and Carla themselves.
This is proof that no matter how small, little changes add up, and can result in positive benefits for you and for someone else!
Chris speaks on going without:
Why did you want to do this challenge? I am faced with various challenges everyday, but at the time I felt that I do not challenge myself enough. I think I was feeling a little complacent. I think I avoid challenge to avoid additional stress in my life.
Why did you choose beer to give up? I chose all forms of alcohol, not only beer. In the past I have given up only beer but just replaced it with other forms of alcohol, like wine, so the challenge was absent. Recently I became aware of how much alcohol I consume. I am not abusive but I have a drink a day. I truly enjoy the taste of beer and wine and look forward to that after work or with friends. I could not remember the last time I went a long period without consuming any alcohol (more then a couple days anyway). So it seemed like a good idea. Another big part is health. As I get older I become more aware of health choices. I felt it could do my body good to stop drinking for a while.
What did this exercise teach you about yourself/each other? That I was more dependent than I thought on alcohol. After a long day at work or at a social gathering, I found I would be a bit grumpy knowing that I was not going to have a drink. There was a very noticeable absence in my life for the first couple weeks. I think though the social aspect was the most interesting. In my life alcohol is often consumed in the company of friends and with that comes good conversation and discussion. I missed that and found that I was less social during this time. I even think friends called me less knowing that they might be drinking alone if we went out. Giving up alcohol felt like a bit of a sacrifice, if only in the superficial sense.
What were you able to contribute as a result of this or who did this positively affect? I think the most positive effect was on me, both health and financially.
Has it affected you in any other ways? My fast came during the season of Lent so there was a spiritual element to it. Although that was not as prominent during this time, I did make a point of thinking about why I was giving something up whenever I longed for it. This would lead in many different directions, from self-satisfaction/dissatisfaction to thinking of those who have no choice in what they do not have, to health and pride.
Would you do it again/build something like this into your daily routines? I will consider doing this again in a year and currently I conscientiously practice giving things up on a week to week basis.
Carla speaks on going without:
Why did you want to do this challenge? To encourage more reflection in my life – to help remind myself of how blessed I am for what I have, and that there are many who have to go without –being able to choose to go without is a luxury. I also wanted to support NSF by giving to those who have less.
Why did you choose sugar? I chose sugar for health reasons… and because I crave a little sweetness at least once a day. I knew it would be a little difficult.
What did this exercise teach you about yourself/each other? It taught me self discipline and encouraged generosity and reflection. It was encouraging to see how well Chris did in his fast and it helped me stay on track. Seeing that Chris and I could complete this challenge (not without our moments of weakness…), who knows what else we could take on.
What were you able to contribute as a result of this or who did this positively affect? Food issues are important to me – where our food comes from, how it is produced, what we put in our bodies and food waste. We are donating $$$ to NSF for a local food project they are involved in.
Has it affected you in any other ways (either positive or negative)? This fast has taught me that I don’t need sugar (and probably a lot of other things in life) – and should try and treat it as something special – that I’m lucky/blessed to be able to have, while others have to go without.
Would you do it again/build something like this into your daily routines? Yes.
Making it real…
Carla used this little notebook to record what she was giving up, and the value of it too.
In it I found little gems of her writing.
Putting words to something somehow makes it real, like thoughts once they become spoken words.
Do you keep a journal?
Everyday is a new challenge..what’s yours?
Chris and Carla donated enough money to sponsor a very special NSF event coming up.
I can’t wait to share this with you as the planning is in the works as we speak. Seeing the results of their challenge has inspired many great things and I can’t thank them enough for their courage and willingness to take part.
Not only will their funds provide much needed food, but we will also be sharing cooking skills that will (hopefully) enable folks to keep feeding themselves. Stay tuned as we roll out more
I’ll be keeping the recipes flowing too, starting with these delicious cookies in my next post…
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
~ Oscar Wilde
Have you ever considered giving up a vice or a habit?
If you did what would it be?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and thank you my friends for reading about this amazing effort by amazing people. I told you you’d like them. Was I wrong?
There is lots more to come, and I’d love to hear from you all!
Wow! What a wonderful honor (and in some seriously good company too!), and for this I am so grateful!
To all of you who have supported this little blog and its mission from the start, and for those who are just joining us, thank you for being here.
It is such an honor and a pleasure and I enjoy each and every interaction with you, whether it is here, or on any number of your amazing blogs in this community (of which I am grateful to follow many a winner).
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
~ Thornton Wilde
Today’s post is another fresh and simple way to kick-start either a bright new morning, a stodgy, slumpy afternoon, or even as a great way to try the concept of ‘fasting’ if you are new to it. (Trading heavy solid foods for a quickie smoothie is a great way to try it).
Blended foods are gentle on the stomach, and when filled with pure, unadulterated whole foods, are easily digested and assimilated too.
Less additions to your fruit smoothie means easy simple ingredients that won’t break the bank. Less chewing and cooked foods means more raw nutrition that is easy to break down. Less challenging ingredients means you can find these foods anywhere, so eating this good is easy and accessible too.
More fresh spinach means more calcium, fiber, and chlorophyll. More fresh uncooked fruits means more fresh sun-kissed goodness. More blended raw foods means more clean gentle nourishment, so eating can be peaceful and healing when you need it.
Not just for Popeye!
Squeaky Clean Spinach & Stone-fruit Smoothie:
(2) fresh nectarines (can sub peaches or apricots, if using apricots up to 3-4)
(1) heaping cup frozen peaches
(1) large handful packed fresh spinach leaves
(1-1.5) cup mango juice (can also sub apricot, peach, or other yellow tropical combo)
(1) cup ice cubes (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until super smooth – about 1 minute minimum.
Depending on the strength of your blender, the time it takes to properly blend really varies.
Just make sure there are no chunks and if using ice, to give it a little extra time, or extra juice, or both.
We become that which we love.
~ Saint Bridget
It is said that in order to achieve a dream, that you should pursue what you love. I believe this to be true. I have referenced in the blog before that there is great power in just starting, and with this, there is also great relevance in the notion of starting as you mean to go on.
So while we can’t wait for things to be perfect before we start something new (because they never are), it is important to start as we mean to go on.
Because there is no substitute for authenticity, and it will always shine through any imperfection
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~ Marcel Proust
Everyday is a day for new things. This smoothie was my new thing this week, as it is wonderful – and an easy way to start the day as you mean to go on!
I adore the summery taste of stone fruits and spinach is a wonderful mild green that is easily blended into these fruits with such big taste and character.
So if you think you don’t like green smoothies – you might just be surprised with this one (or not)!
There’s a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it.
~ Bob Dylan
In the ‘coming soon’ section…
IPOM started 6 months ago to engage and connect with a bigger group of people in the celebration of good food (Holla! You guys are amazing!)
Not So Fast, which is a new non-profit organization founded (by wee little me) last year, is just about to spread its wings a little.
We’ll be launching our new identity in the coming weeks, and sharing a story or two about (amazing) regular people (like you and me) who are making a difference in their community, by showing us that ‘living with less’, even for a short time, can make a giant impact!
We hope you’ll stay tuned while we roll this out, and I promise to keep you hungry for more great food ideas and recipes, and am (as always) looking forward to all of yours!
What is your favorite smoothie combo?
Are you a Green Smoothie novice?
Have you started anything new this week?
Do share – your comments and thoughts are always so enjoyed!
And of course, I am wishing you all a fabulous week…..I know I said it was last week (I ran out of time!) but after I publish this, I am turning my computer over to the pros, it’s finally time for a brand new computer!
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~ William Arthur Ward
Good day dear IPOM readers and friends! Need a little something to pick you up mid-week like I do?
How about a quick little shout-out to a most virtuous glass of nourishing and delicious fresh green juice?
I’ve mentioned before that it is tough for me to throw away the pulp that is left over after extracting fresh juice.
And it’s true, it is hard (for me).
Eating foods is definitely the preferred way for me to ensure there is plenty of nutrition being served up at our table, and all that fiber and goodness that comes from consuming roughage and delicious foods in their whole state is ideal (IMO).
Except when it’s time for a change up.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
~ Victor Frankl
There are times when the body might be sensitive to things. There are times when we might be stressed. There are times when we just crave a glass of pure vital energy.
For these times, and often on short fast days, this drink is my go-to elixir.
Super-energizing, super-alkalizing, super-tasty, and super-charged, this drink brings together everything an ailing tummy or mind might need. Eating can be stressful on the body sometimes (especially foods that are not good for you), and that’s okay. Just knowing a good safe way to rest the body and mind is a good place to start.
Of course, you need a juicer for this (which I know we don’t all have) – thankfully juicers are easily found these days in all price ranges, so if you are inclined, with a bit of research you can pick one up without breaking the bank account. It is an investment that will pay dividends, regardless of whether you juice once a day, once a week, or once a month.
Less solids in your tummy means a little rest when its needed. Less pressure on the tummy means more time to just be. Less cooked and stored juices means more vital enzymes and goodness, and hopefully less time feeling less than the best.
More fresh lemon juice means more alkalizing health benefits. More fresh greens means more chlorophyll and minerals. More fresh simple fruit juice means easily digested sugars, without all the nasty highs and lows, because something this happy can’t bring you down.
Healing Green Tonic:
~ Adapted from Natalia Rose, Raw Food Detox
4 apples, skin on, cut into pieces
10 leaves kale
1 head celery
2 lemons, with skin on, cut into pieces
knob of fresh peeled ginger (optional)
Simply wash all ingredients – try to use organic vegetables and fruits for this if you can. Chop apples, lemons, and ginger. Be careful when juicing to put the greens and lemon pieces in with a stalk of celery or a piece of apple to prevent clogging (depending on your juicer’s strength).
Strain through a very fine sieve (or not if you don’t mind a little pulp at the bottom), and enjoy right away for maximum life force and vital energy. Letting juice sit will oxidize the released nutrition, but if you like you can put some away in a sealed container (keep cold!) for enjoyment later.
I drink this when I need a nice boost. It keeps me going for hours and leaves a wonderful aftertaste and and even more glorious happy tummy smile.
It sounds extra-super-corny, but trust me it’s true!
I don’t juice too often as I get annoyed cleaning the juicer as well as I feel sad if I produce too much pulp – though it does certainly make a lovely addition to gardener’s compost
I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.
~ Simon and Garfunkel
The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists
~ Japanese Proverb
My weekend reading!
The power we have to create good, and to impact positive change both within ourselves and within a greater collective community is never lost on me.
There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
~ Author Unknown
So keep up your own unique brands of awesomeness, dear IPOM readers and friends, for it is your energy and enthusiasm that keeps us all going, and I can only speak for myself and I know this to be true for this blogger!
I also have to let you guys know there are so many exciting things happening here this week with regards to Not So Fast. Honestly, I can’t wait to share….all in good time!
Are you a fan of juicing?
What is your favorite fresh juice of all time?
What are you MOST excited for right now (share anything!)?
I just adore hearing from you all, we’d all love to know!
I am off to enjoy the glorious Vancouver sunshine…and it sounds as though it is here to stay for a while!
The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.
~ Albert Einstein
When thinking of simple pleasures, there really is nothing better than a Friday afternoon.
Wherever you are, whatever the weather, there is always something to brighten the mood of you and those around you when the countdown to the weekend is inching to a close! It’s here!
My favorite thing to do on a Friday is to come home, drop the bags, the phone, all the noise of the week, and hit the outdoors.
Alternatively, if the weather is the way it was all this week (with rain and more rain), I love nothing more than to curl up on the couch with my grandmother’s afghan, my laptop or a book, and a hot cup of sweet honey lemon.
This is my go-to fasting drink, and a way to soothe the soul and perk up any old day. This drink (to me) is a classic.
Growing up, my mom used to make it with boiled ginger (a few thumbs of fresh ginger in a boiling pot of water for 30 minutes), or simply as shown. We always had in our family kitchen a giant bucket of local honey from a beekeeper named Albert (as I recall that was his name). When we weren’t prying it open to steal spoonfuls, we used it as a seat to rest our tired legs.
I respect and admire all the reasons to avoid honey – every drop is a beautiful and sacred thing – and I am always sure to appreciate it and regard it as an extremely special and beautiful gift from the bees.
After all, without the bees we wouldn’t have these:
Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
~ Victor Hugo
They are a treasure, and so are the bees that pollinate our fruit. We enjoy honey and use it very sparingly, and with gratitude. Of course, hot honey-lemon can easily become hot maple-syrup-lemon, and both are yummy and extremely beneficial either way.
More lemony goodness means more cleansing vitamin C and healthy vitamins for your body. More soothing hot beverages means you can enjoy it over more time. More slow sipping means more slow living. More slowness is nice. So relax and enjoy, it’s Friday after all!
Less refined sugar sweetened lemon drinks means less of the white stuff in your clean water. Less coffee, tea and other sweet drinks means less calories, milk and all the other things that go with them. Less outsourced drinks means cheaper nourishment for you and less waste overall.
Hot Honey Lemon Drink:
(1-2) organic lemons
(2-3) tbsp local unpasteurized honey to taste (or maple syrup)
(2-3) cups boiling water
(1) favorite mug
(1) sprinkle cayenne powder (optional)
Put up a kettle to boil of clean water. Squeeze the juice of your lemons in to your favorite mug, adding a few slices to crush inside. Crush your lemon slices with a spoon or fork until juicy and pulverized. Add honey to lemon juice and lemon slices and crush together. Add optional dash of cayenne powder.
When the water boils, pour directly into the cup and stir. Taste to see if sweetness is right (and add more honey if desired).
Grab a book or a bright corner with a window and enjoy the view. Breathe deep and enjoy….because you can. I call that a great way to start the weekend.
He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.
Whatever you choose to do this weekend, I hope you do it in style – after all it’s not the start of the weekend everyday!
Here’s a little shot of something that made me smile this week.
My daughter returned home from her grandparents house (my parents) with these shoes – my jazz shoes from the stone ages (I was about 12).
I was (just a little) overjoyed to see them as I had no idea they were still around. I was even more pleased to put them on, and believe it or not they still fit! (but if you must know my toes are popping out (just a little) a bit).
Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.
So now when I talk about kitchen dancing, you can be pretty certain I might just have these on
How are you planning to ring in April?
What’s your favorite way to start the weekend?
Are you a lemon drink fan too?
Thanks to all of you for reading this week and for my new IPOM followers!
I was beyond thrilled this week to receive comments from old friends, new friends, and family from afar – I just love to connect with you over food and sharing enthusiasm with you all just makes my day..
Next I’ll be sharing about those french lentils, a new breakfast bar, and a wonderful recipe sent to me by a fellow blogging buddy…;)
Cheers to Friday or whatever day it is in your part of the world!
Welcome! What is In Pursuit Of More? The blog about living with (just a little) less. By going without, we can gain - by giving to those who have less. Want to make a change in your eating habits for the better? Imagine how you can turn that into something positive for those who would otherwise go hungry. Go without so others don't have to. That's living with (just a little) less.