Tomorrow makes the one month mark of this Challenge; my original end date.
And this morning I realized something: I’m liking making almond milk. I’m still unsure as to if I’ll continue doing it this after this Challenge ends, but I’ve got the ritual down:
- Soak one cup of raw almonds in water for two days in the fridge.
- Drain and rinse.
- Combine with 2 cups filtered water in the blender.
- Blend on high 2 minutes, then on low 2 minutes.
- Strain back into the 2-cup Pyrex with the wire mesh strainer, pressing the pulp out with a silicone spatula and discarding pulp as I go.
- Filter again through a fine tea strainer into a glass jar. Done.
It takes 10-15 minutes and, now that I have the motions down, is almost meditative. I set the coffee starting, press HIGH on the blender, and POWER POSE those first two minutes while it blends. Then I strain and press and strain and press.
Since I’ve been sick much of this month, it hasn’t been as productive of one as I’d planned, and I took in far more plastic last week than I’d ever hoped to. Sure — 5.3 ounces overall isn’t bad. But I hadn’t been exploring the buy-in-bulk world as thoroughly as planned. Still, I kept strong to some things that could have gone by the wayside: Even at my sickest, I didn’t use tissues, washing my handkerchiefs and setting them on the radiator to dry, instead.
But the largest overall lesson of the last month has come in the eye-opening revelation of how much plastic we use without thinking about it… or caring.
Last night on the train home from Love Bites (I shouldn’t have physically gone, but it was a stellar episode), these two adorable girls got on with their mother – I’d guess they were nine and eleven or so, maybe — both with plastic cups of water from Panera, lids and straws and all. Plastic cups, lids, and straws. For water. The most easily solvable of plastic problems. Because of this Challenge, I hadn’t gotten a cup of tea before the show as I forgotten to bring an empty container. I managed.
The last two weeks I’ve watched Erika – who can’t eat solid food because of a root canal that’s killing her, poor thing – order takeout or delivery almost every night, and the amount of plastic and garbage that comes with it breaks my heart. I caved one night, having not eaten enough in days (I know I’m not eating enough now, and my weight is steady at a low number for unhealthy reasons), and needing something starchy and salty, and she tagged some fries onto her order for me. They came soggy in plastic, when I’d hoped they’d have come in paper. Sigh. I recycled it, and I needed the salt and starch. But still.
I’m doing what I can. Remember the long game, I remind myself.
Now that I’m in my second month and some household and beauty items are finally running out, I’m ready for the next phase of exploration. I hate my deodorant and often throw out ones I’m not pleased with, so making my own is on the list — I have a few recipes online saved in my phone for the next time I get my tush downtown for bulk beauty. Toothpaste will be an easy make in the next day, and those ingredients stand ready. And while I used to mix up gallons of vinegar and baking soda to clean, it’s been a while; glass spray bottles and exploring recipes for cleaning glass and the kitchen will come into play, too.
Investment. That’s what it is. I’m invested in this shit.