I have a lot of ideas I am hoping to try this year. This 30 Day of ZooFit Challenge is one of them. Some of these ideas are social media conservation fitness campaigns I hope to share, and I’m practicing one of them now. I call it “Cut It Out” Plastic Challenge.
Would you like to make better eating choices? But when you go to the store, you end up buying tons of unhealthy foods on a whim? Or get the “convenient” packaged foods? I admit, eating healthy ALL the time is hard. And grocery stores don’t make it easier.
“Cut it out” Plastic Challenge is very simple. I’m not going to say “easy”, because it isn’t easy. It’s simple though. Cut out plastic from the grocery store.
Without this single manufactured item, we eliminate most packaged and processed foods. Candies, junk food, cookies, and chips are wrapped in plastic. By telling ourselves we are refusing plastic, we create a bright line to reinforce our willpower to eat healthy by not even bringing these foods into our home.
I know some very healthy foods are wrapped in plastic. While I was grocery shopping this afternoon, I saw a package of skinless chicken breasts with potatoes, carrots, and celery, along with fresh spices. It looked like an incredibly delicious and nutritious meal. But in my challenge, this is unacceptable.
You can certainly get all the same ingredients, without buying the packaging along with them. When I go to the grocery store, I ask the butcher to not wrap my meats in plastic. One of these days, I’ll remember to start bringing my own containers from home to put the meats in. But by shopping from the meat department counter versus the aisle, I avoid plastic.
Bringing my own bags has become so second nature to me, when I see other people using plastic, I flinch. For the second time, while I was at a grocery store, I witnessed someone putting bananas in a plastic bag before putting them in their cart.
Why on earth would you put bananas in plastic? Do you not realize they come with their own protective layer? I am likely to forgive someone for putting apples in a plastic bag, but I will never understand the banana issue. It doesn’t need plastic.
There are some non-plastic hacks I can share with you if you would like to take up this challenge. If you love yogurt, try Oui from Yoplait. These are small individual yogurts in glass jars and a foil lid. They come in a variety of flavors, but I love even their plain flavor.
My husband makes his own creamer with canned coconut milk, vanilla, and maple syrup. No plastic involved. If you are trying to give up dairy, this is the method to try with your creamer. Chris says a batch lasts him all week, and it’s delicious.
Try to get glass containers over plastic. This isn’t always the case, but sometimes, as it is with us here on Whidbey Island, plastic containers can be recycled but the plastic lids cannot. Most glass jars have an aluminum lid, which is recyclable everywhere. Little things like lemon juice, oils, applesauce, and honey really add up in saving the amount of plastic which often gets tossed.
If you need cream cheese, try to go with the block. The blocks are wrapped in foil, and the wrapper is recyclable paper.
Not all stores have a bulk section, but if your store does, get your teas, coffee, grains, and nuts there, and use your own bags/containers. Yesterday, I spent the whole morning reorganizing my spices (Thanks to a random complaint from my loving husband), but we created a system where I will never have to buy another plastic container for spices again. Bonus alert- with very few exceptions, if you get your spices from the bulk section, you save money, too!
I do on occasion enjoy protein bars. While I’m still working on perfecting my own Lara Bars, I have a recipe for homemade protein bars, which can be prepared with little or no plastic involved. All you need is some protein powder, almond butter, and coconut oil for the base; dates, dried fruit, and chia seeds for the nougat filling, and cocoa and coconut milk for the coating. Sprinkle your choice of nuts for the topping, and divvy the tray up how you like. No plastic, no palm oil, no guilt protein bars.
Sustainable grocery shopping. It’s not easy, but it is simple. Cut out plastic and make a difference in your life, health, and fitness, and make a better impact on the environment and the planet.
Do you have what it takes to take on Plastic?