Let’s do it up.

by Holly on June 4, 2010

in 2010 hiking trip,breakfast,dinner,seriousness


That’s what I am right now.

I was nervous about publishing my last post regarding the moral dilemma many of us face at sometime in our joyful, food-filled existences: to eat or to not eat meat?

That IS the question.

But your responses were AMAZING! Please, if you have five minutes, I encourage you to go to the comments section and read everyone’s personal stories + views about this very topic. Everyone’s comments were well-thought-out, informative and unique to their own life circumstances, which serves as a reminder of what each of us need to do: find an eating style that works for YOU.

I have to admit there was one comment in particular that really moved me, forcing me to think further about food issues beyond the familiar Western, developed nations most of us live in:

Hi, Everythingarian,

I hope you are well..

I read have read a lot about natural hygeine ,veganism, fruitarianism .. I also live in South Africa, my mom’s from the Eastern Cape where the Xhosa tribe originates.. Xhosas are known to be very enthusiastic meat eaters, slaughtering sheep or chicken in honour of a guest is common practice and is the greatest honour you can bestow on anyone .. My mom grew up raising sheep , naming them and at somestage those sheep would be slaughtered and eaten at celebrations..

My dad’s side of the family are in the northern Limpopo Province , and even venison from gazelles, zebra or elephant is not that uncommon.. so I must be honest that I am having a hard time seeing a moral issue where the happiness of an animal is an issue when it comes to eating an animal reared with appropriate care for that purpose .. the me the issue is more about the morality of the owners of those animals- are they cruel- beating them or starving them? are they careless leaving them in the cold? are they slaughtered with inexpert hands causing unecessary pain and distress? ..

I love dogs, we always have had them, well treated and loved, but eating an animal would never make me feel like I was doing something morally questionable or make me feel that I had betrayed animal-kind (especially beacuse my dogs will often kill other small animals in our yard and not necessarily out of hunger-as they are well fed). However, rewarding a cruel person or supporting inhumane practices would be a moral issue for me. I would feel that those same people are likely to be cruel to other humans and that is what really gets me, and lets face it- it is possible to concern oneself more with the question of moral/humane treatment of other humans because that has implication for less comfortable than the decision of lamb or lentils for lunch…

… it’s an interesting and important debate that unfortunately is not a high priority where food scarcity is a bigger problem than its abundance and abuse (although that is also happening in the wealthier classes- being overweight is desirable and even beautiful in the poorer communities, it’s like wearing all your gold and diamonds on you to show your wealth).

At some point i seperated my egg whites and yolks,chucking the yolks (trying to emulate the clean eating lifestyle) .. that created a bigger conflict in me because everytime I did it I rememebered that there are people who go hungry all around me (I stopped it as an unecessary and extravagant practice) I suppose we each must never violate our consciences especially over the question of food or drink..

That movie Avatar shows a brilliant balance on these issues: “sawubona”..is a Zulu greeting, it means “I see you” and has been used for centuries.. and whilst we don’y call animals brother or sister we see them, their beauty as well as their place in the world..Traditionally, they are valued, as a part of the emotional, spiritual and commercial currency and cared for a s aresult.

Reading these blogs makes me thinlk a lot about the things that I take for granted as well as the things i struggle with.. thanks for making the time to write about your life and your thoughts!


(PS” my 80 year old Great Aunt plays foot ball with other grannies (yes, it’s true!) she lives on a simple diet of corn meal, homegrown vegetables, groundnuts, mopani worms and once in a while some meat if she can afford it..she is stong, not a hint of senility or arthritis or anything… my other gran still hoes the ground, and applies musky dung to her compound floors , on her hands and knees, she is so physically strong and also eats so simply- it’s us townies with “sugar” (diabetes etc..).. so I am slowly going more vegan and loving the process!

Thank you Nguni Girl in Africa for reminding us in the U.S. and other developed nations how lucky we are to have the options we do! I hope you don’t mind me posting this comment :).

And I am pretty sure you may have the coolest grandma + great aunt ever.


I couldn’t find an easy transition from that topic.

In other words, I am going to roll with a pretty picture of yesterday’s breakfast…

1/2 cup oats
1 cup water
1 egg (scrambled in)
1/2 cup blueberries
vanilla NuNaturals stevia drops
1/2 banana bread muffin
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter packet


Even closer…


Speaking of banana bread muffins, I’ve been averaging about three of these a day…

Because I leave to hike my heart out in Canada with Susan in four days (!!!), I’ve been eating up my fridge and am determined not to go grocery shopping before I leave.

Hence why I needed to demolish this spinach + artichoke hummus container clean…

Done and done.

I’ve been making my way through my jar of peanut butter, this time pairing it with a sweet potato which I poked with a fork and microwaved for five minutes. The microwave method isn’t as good as an actual baked sweet potato, but it does the job in a pinch.

This morning, it was PB+J toast, berries and a serving of a to-do list for good measure…

I’m not going to get into my hate to love affair with to-do lists, but right now – I NEED MY TO-DO LIST! Without it, I’m not going to get through the rest of this month with my sanity intact.

The month of June is crazy.

Crazy fun, but crazy nonetheless.

  • This weekend –> Minnesota
  • 1 1/2 days to prep for Banff –> including: finish an approximately 10-hour freelance project, plan a dinner party and celebrate Brett’s birthday
  • BANFF, CANADA –> hiking + camping with Susan for an entire week (!!!)
  • Father’s Day Weekend –> go wherever Daddy Everythingtarian is
  • A couple important work events –> some traveling required
  • Other upcoming trips –> Chicago, back to Minnesota, Colorado (to move-in my lil’ sister to college!)

Yes, I have not one free weekend until the end of July.

::deep breath::

Let’s do it up.

And for the record, I am still listening to this song on repeat.


Heather (Perspective Is Everything) June 4, 2010 at 8:10 am

That was a pretty epic post from Nguni, no? I think I adore her-and her gramma and aunt!
I totally agree, too….I think we have the luxury of choosing whatever we want to eat, however we want, and whenever we want.
If I lived in a culture where it was rude to not eat, say wheat, I’d be miserably screwed. Gluten intolerance sucks.
have fun hiking. Must say I’m a bit envious of that, and your trip to Colorado. I lived there 9 years ago and miss it SOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

brandi June 4, 2010 at 8:32 am

Wow, what an awesome email :) I’ll tell you one thing – eating vegan for just 3 days so far has been interesting. Not as tough as I thought it would be, and it’s making me be more creative! We’ll see how the rest of the month goes, but I’m happy to be trying something new and opening myself up to new experiences.

I can’t believe your trip is so soon!!!! So excited for you :)

Susan June 4, 2010 at 8:36 am

BAAANNNFFFF!! Fret not Holly my dear. It will be a relaxing trip filled with yoga, good eats, and some beautiful scenic hiking :) I am bursting with excitement!!!

Ilana June 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

Wow. What an amazing response. I’ve been places, had experiences, where there was no choice of what to eat, where food is made out of what is available. In Western society we often take this for granted, because (like I said in my comment) we think we’re smarter than nature somehow and have found ways to force food and synthesize food, and we’ve begun to think that it’s normal (“we” in the general sense of course).

Have a fantabulous hike!!

grace June 4, 2010 at 8:52 am

what great eats! i might actually try the blueberry thing :)

J June 4, 2010 at 9:28 am

Summers in my home state of Colorado are just gorgeous! I think you will love CO!

glidingcalm June 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

And you know what? Plants have feelings too.

Lindsey @ Foodie on the Rocks June 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

Can’t wait to see pics of Banff! I want to go to the film festival this fall.

Was so happy that link was to Poker Face ala Glee. Love love love it! Have a great weekend!

Angharad June 4, 2010 at 9:40 am

Hiking and camping for a week in banff = jealous. You’re going to have an amazing time!!

I am also jam-packed weekend wise for the next month or so. That’s what summer is all about!

Also: loved the comment you posted. See you Sunday for coffee and matching sandals! x

samantha June 4, 2010 at 9:47 am

I love having so many plans on the weekends – it makes me feel like I am living! That was an incredible comment – it’s so true. I especially loved her point about the egg whites vs. the whole egg; it is truly remarkable how food cultures differ around the globe.

gah to the 10 hour project, but WOOOOO!!! to banff! i went to the film festival in dc this past winter.

happy weekend, sista!

Adrien June 4, 2010 at 10:10 am

I love that you posted Nguni’s comment; we do live pretty luxurious lives over in North America, and it’s hard to take a step back and realize the ridiculousness of our problems when we’re in the middle of them.

Her post is grounding. Thanks for sharing it!

As for your weekend, I hope you don’t post one pretty picture of yourself on here due to the fact that no one takes good photos after 4 plus drinks! Have fuuuuun!

Erica June 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

Phew! Your start to the summer sounds just like how ours was last year. Traveling is fun but exhausting! Cannot wait to hear about the Canada trip. I still haven’t given the nut butter/sweet potato combo a go….its amount time Erica!

Kristie June 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Wow, what a comment. Loved reading it!

Have fun coming on over to CANADA eh?! Hiking in Banff, wowza. Should be an amazing. Little jealous. I live in Ontario and have never been to the OTHER end of the country…I really need to make that happen someday. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

Kacy June 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Wow, that email really opened my eyes. Loved it.

And your month sounds spectacular! Get it!

claire June 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

What a great response and you deserve only kind words, lady!

Sounds like a full but fulfilling month ahead….I am kinda jealous of the camping/hiking…

That breakfast looks killer…I’d be up for eating three of those delicious looking muffins a day too!

lo June 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm

woooo chicagoooooo…cannot wait !!!

elise June 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm

going back to the comments section now. what an interesting comment you posted though. and conversation topic in general. june looks like its gonna be a busy one!!! im still waiting for your CA trip though :)

Lindsay June 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

What a powerful email. It really put everything into perspective of me!

Hiking for a week sounds like a fabulous vacation!!!

Lynn @ The Actors Diet June 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

have fun with susan! that will be fun. if i had those muffins around i’d be averaging 2 a day

Run Sarah June 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I wish you ladies were heading on down to Vancouver – its so worth the trip!

Kristin (Salty Tooth) June 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Your June sounds busy, but very exciting. Would so love to go hiking in Canada. I’m sure it will be a great time!

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) June 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm

so many good eats!! banana muffins, Sabra’s hummus (that IS the brand, right? Swoon), pb&j, etc etc.

sounds like you’re going to be a busy gal, but being busy can be GOOD :)

Happy Weekend!

Katherine June 4, 2010 at 6:48 pm

enjoyed reading; best wishes and happy weekend

Madeline - Greens and Jeans June 4, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Why oh whyyyyyyy do I have to work so I can’t come to Banff with you and Susan?????? Next time. And by next time I mean after we go to Argentina together and work on our tango skills.

Uncle Tommie Timbertoes June 4, 2010 at 7:30 pm

All life lives on lives. Some aspects of this are more obvious then others. Take rumaging vegetarians for example. They live a noble cause. Hardly. I more admire the hunter who feeds himself. At least a hunter must stalk and outwit his meal. Vegetarians hunt and eat living things that can’t get away.

jassy June 5, 2010 at 9:01 am

hey…about food…it’s a cycle for me…

enjoy your activities!:)

Diana @ frontyardfoodie June 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

That is an awesome comment. Exactly how I feel about eating. I personally don’t like the taste of meat but I still get it for my husband. We get meat from my family who raises it on their farm, free range, organic and with caring and loving hands.

Meghan@traveleatlove June 5, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Ohhhh so jealous of your hiking your heart out trip. Have a blast lovely lady!

Katharina June 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I just went back and read your previous post. I have to say that response you got is really eye-opening. I think because I’ve been a vegetarian for so long and I was never a big meat-eater, I don’t really second guess my choice. It’s just become a part of my life and I’m okay with that. I don’t like to judge other people based on their diet (because that’s rather silly if you think about it), but I do think it’s important for people to AT LEAST inform themselves. Unfortunately, most people don’t research things themselves but rather expect the information to magically land on their laps. ANYWHO, I’m going off on a tangent lol. Your to-do list sounds awesome and reminds me that I need to plan something for Father’s Day–oops!

XOXO my love!!!

p.s. I love sweet potato and peanut butter. You can definitely use up your things without hitting the grocery store :D I ate many a pb & j and sweet potato + peanut butter while I was clearing out what I had lol.

Hayley @ Breath of Fire June 6, 2010 at 1:37 am

I go to college in Colorado! If she’s going to be a CU Buff, it’s the best decision she’s ever made. And if not, Colorado is still an awesome state no matter the school. :)

Kailey (SnackFace) June 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm

HOW DID I MISS THE LAST POST!?!?!?!? Sawwy!!! It’s really all about doing what works for YOU, you’re right. Maybe I had tuna the other day. OOPSITWASAMAZING.

I love your busy month! Those are so fun! I wanna go to Banff!

Anyway, I need to study. YUCKS. LOVE YOUUUUU!

Justine June 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I have considered going vegan, but I could not imagine life without my beloved yogurt. For whatever reason you may choose, if you are a happy vegan I am impressed. It is so interesting how many different types of diets there are and why people choose to follow them.

Shelley June 6, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I loved reading that letter!!! seriously, that was so interesting. I can’t go vegetarian/vegan- for me, that would be too restrictive. i’ve noticed that i’ve started to eat less meat wihtout htinking about it though, which is nice. Love your oatmeal breakfasts- im going to recreate one in the near future, watch out :)

Nguni Girl in Africa June 8, 2010 at 7:17 am

blush* I didn’t think you’d post it.. have a great time hiking!

Katie June 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

What a great response! Thanks for posting it… gave me my own little reality check as I prepared my lunch.

I can’t believe your trip is so soon! You’re going to have so much fun… I wish I could go with you. Next time!

Graze With Me June 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm

What college is your sister going to in Colorado? I’m just curious because I live in a CO college town…

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: