About Me

My photo
Growing up in Oregon, I constantly heard wise words from my mother like "lets recycle that," "you can walk," "don't use too much water," "whole wheat is better than white," "no dessert if you don't eat your vegetables," "dark lettuce is better for you than light," "paper over plastic," "don't leave anything behind" and so much more. Her healthy ways got me into many sports and helped turn me into a record-setting track athlete. In 2006, my mother lost a 3 year battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease; something nobody would have ever expected. That was right around the time I joined the Surfrider Foundation in San Diego and had my first child, whom she never met. Now 10 years have passed since losing my mother, yet volunteering for the Surfrider Foundation, and becoming a mother, I've noticed her words have come through clearer than ever. In addition to personal training and triathlon coaching, I have done some blogging to help our planet, and improve lives. I hope you enjoy my content, and join me in my journey for a cleaner planet and promoting happier, healthier lives!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fruit & Veggie Solutions

A big part of reducing waste in our environment starts in our own fridge.  Fruits and vegetables are the best things to eat, but don't last long, so tend to be frequently wasted.  Of course since they're biodegradable, they're not the big problem for our environment (like all those things packaged in plastic), but they are a waste of money when we don't use them.  So... here's a few fun ways to use them up when they're getting ripe: make smoothies, soups, pizza toppings or dry them!  Then compost the waste.

If you have a bunch of fruit like this, you're likely not going to fit it all in one smoothy.  Though it would be yummy. ;)  All this ripe fruit, I cut into slices between 1/4" to 1/2" thick and threw it into a food dehydrator.  I bought this dehydrator at the beginning of the summer when I realized a lot of fruit was going bad before getting eaten.  Well, it has absolutely paid itself off!  One thing to be careful of with a dehydrator is that they do make some heat.  So, in the summer, I hook it up outside not to heat up the house.  Of course when it gets too cold inside, that's a great time to use it indoors!  Here's how it works...

When slicing fruit, remember that the ones with the most water are going to shrink most.  So cut them in slices a little thicker (like this pineapple).  Bananas don't shrink a whole lot, so can be sliced a bit thinner.  Most fruits take several hours to dry.  Of course fresh fruit works best, but I've found that even fruits that aren't as ripe get sweeter when dried.

Now for the veggies, my healthiest solution is a simple pot of soup.  Just chop them up, and throw them all in with your favorite base.  Add some beans to keep it vegan, or add chicken, etc. if you want meat.

Another great way to use up those veggies is a vegetarian pizza.  This I made with a homemade whole wheat crust.  Yum!  So good with our own fresh toppings that the family didn't even care about the healthy crust. ;)

As for the leftover fruit and veggie scraps, I use a countertop composter to start the composting, then transfer it to my TINY southern California garden outside.
You hardly need any space, and composting reduces the amount of water wasted for garbage disposals, while keeping the entire drainage system less clogged up.  There are many cute countertop compost crocks, but you can always just use a tub that seals, to keep fruit flies away.  Here's what I got off Amazon.com...

I hope this post was informative!  As always, feel free to ask questions, and thank you for reading.