Easing up.

I just wrote a huge post, which ended up being just a big rant. So, into the trash it goes and I’ll try again.

Over the past few weeks, as I’ve slowly run out of the food I bought before my challenge started (ie: frozen stuff), I’m starting to realize how limited I am in what I can eat.

In addition to being vegetarian, I’m also allergic to dairy and gluten. For some reason, very few bakeries in Vancouver make gluten-free bread and the ones that do all wrap the bread in plastic. (The only gluten-free bakery I know of that doesn’t do this is in Victoria.) If I wanted to make my own bread at home, I need to have a lot of weird flours that are virtually impossible to find (here at least) in bulk and many of them come in small, plastic bags. Nut butters come with lids that are lined with or made of plastic. Most produce has plastic stickers. I could go on.

When I first started this challenge, one of my “rules” was that my health comes first. I’m currently home sick from work and my seriously diminished diet has likely contributed to this. After a lot of guilt and re-thinking, I’ve decided to make a few changes.

In cases where I can get plastic-free versions or can go without, then I’ll do that. (IE: I will buy in bulk when at all possible and I won’t buy things I don’t need, like microwave dinners or chips.) But, with things that I wouldn’t be able to buy otherwise, like xanthan gum, etc, I’ll purchase in the plastic until I can find an alternative source.

I feel seriously guilty doing this and trust me, I don’t want to! But like I’ve said before, I can’t put my health in jeopardy because of this challenge. I need to be eating better and while I figure this all out, I’m going to have to back down on a few things.

Of course, I will still stick to the rest of the challenge! Hopefully this will be my only concession.


About Stephanie

I'm a Vancouverite, a free-spirited yogi, an accidental vegan, a tree-hugger, a teacher, an athlete, an artist, a soul rebel and a very, very lucky girl.
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6 Responses to Easing up.

  1. george says:

    Good choice Stephanie. Health comes first. And your adventures are still undoubtedly helping slowly but surely move retailers and industry to make plastic-free living possible in the future.

  2. sarah says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself Steph! Being meat-gluten-dairy free is hard enough without avoiding plastic as well. Way to bring attention to over packaging/ over use of plastics in packaging. I think you have found a good compromise; above all you are doing this for you so don’t make yourself sick.

    Why not re-use the plastic that comes into your life where you can so at least its not a one-use product? Might ease the guilt a bit. I try and re-use bulk bags as much as I can. I have glass containers at home that I store everything in, so the little plastic baggies are just for transport.

  3. Hello,We have really enjoyed the blog.Keep up the excellent writing. We are enthusiastic about you’re approaching articles.

  4. hi from hali says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    This is Jen from Surfrider last year, moved east for school, will actually be writing paper on plastic in the ocean for a course this year. What an amazing and inspiring challenge you have taken on. You’ve blogged a few times about bulk food, see you’ve found Kea but do you know about Dan-D-Pak at Broadway and MacDonald? If memory serves me right they had a nut grinder (and their own collection of nut butters) which I think was available for use by customers. I think a friend once mentioned one at Whole Foods, though I might have completely fabricated that conversation… =)
    Good luck!

  5. bex0r says:

    hi stephanie, I’m a new reader on your blog, great job so far, very inspiring!
    I’m on a similar diet as well as being pretty aware of the overuse of plastic in our culture (and petro-based products in general). I wanted to ask if you’ve tried bringing your own containers to stores that sell bulk and avoiding packaging that way? I buy spelt flour from the spelt bakers on east hastings, I bring it home in 2 10 lbs heavy paper bags which fit nicely into my bike panniers, and then store in a large ceramic pot. I also do this with lentils, beans and rice from the co-op on commercial drive. also a couple of the greek deli’s on the drive sell buik yogurt which you can request be put in your own containers (they don’t advertise this, but if you ask nicely and get to be a regular customer they are more than happy to help you out).
    hope this helps! look forward to more posts 😉

    • Stephanie says:

      Hey Bex! Thanks for the note! I definitely take my own containers. I made bags for finer bulk items like sugars or GF flours and I have light mesh bags that I bought at Green’s (on Broadway) for grains, lentils, etc. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to dairy so no yoghurt for me! I make soy milk but am an awful cook and have yet to get the soy yoghurt thing down! I haven’t posted in a few months because things have been pretty nuts but will be posting again soon!

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