Monday, January 5, 2009

Stretching the Benefits

This is the time for New Years resolutions. I've never been very into the whole ritual since I am somewhat of a cynical character. Since I never actually witnessed anybody accomplish their goals in this manner, I always felt that it put a lot of undue pressure on the start of a new year. But about six years ago I became an exception to my own rule by quitting smoking at the start of the year.

This was not a "fun" experience. I was a true addict of the cigarette not one of those mamby pamby smokers who have 1 or 2 a day. I used the patch and I did a lot of puzzles and other work with my hands and after a few weeks I became patch and smoke free. So I'm hear to tell you that resolutions can work if you really want it bad enough.

So that brings us to this year. I need to lose weight. I've needed to lose weight for years and all I've ever managed is a few pounds up and a few pounds down but never anything dramatic. I seem to be on some kind of horrible maintenance program which would be great if I was starting at an ideal weight which I clearly am not.

I also want to reduce my carbon footprint. As the country heads in a whole new direction (hopefully) I also want to change my bad habits. My family has already dropped a car from it's repertoire. Thankfully it is just the two of us so when I need the car I just drive my husband to the park and ride in the morning and pick him up at night. It's pretty much exactly like my parents did in the sixties when they only had 1 car (yes, people actually used to live with just one).

Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to eat less meat. Did you know that eating a pound of meat is the equivalent of driving 40 miles in a SUV?! And a cow's farts are notorious for dumping methane into our atmosphere. One fifth of the world's green house gas emissions are from the production of meat. The University of Chicago says that eating less meat is 50% more effective then switching your car to a hybrid in regard to cleaning up emissions. Check out this site for more information: warming.asp.

So let's add this up. The resolutions are to lose weight and reduce carbon emissions. Eating vegetarian is a proven diet that works for many people trying to lose weight. Introducing less saturated fat in the form of animal fat into my system will have great benefits for my heart and overall health. Fewer animals will have to die. By eating 1 less chicken a week I will have contributed to reducing global warming to the same extent as if I had taken 500,000 cars off the road for a year. By eating less meat I will be able to shop for more locally grown food thus reducing transportation emissions. My grocery bill will go down. This is a win, win situation folks!

Now for those of you who think that most vegetarian foods are dull and tasteless then you haven't really thought it through. Recipes online for vegetarian meals are readily available and you don't even have to go that far. Think of all the veggie recipes you already know and love like Cheese Pizza, Baked Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese and Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce. And let's not forget our fish. Shop responsibly for them and you'll do the environment a world of good. The last time I checked the farts from fish were not a contributing factor to global warming!

1 comment:

Robj98168 said...

True about cutting meat- I think Ed Begley's Living like Ed book says something like if everyone reduced ate 1 lb lees of meat a weak it would be the equivalent of saving 100,000 acres of rainforest per week. I have reduced by a great amount how much meat I eat. And I discovered the great Morningstar Farms products. I like the Chik'n Burgers and Nuggets. ANd it is Vegetable protein!