Microwave – Day 22

We’ve come a long way.  Our equipment has become very sophisticated and very powerful.  We can now make food very quickly.  With all the great inventions and new technology, we’ve managed to make food faster.  However, we have not managed to make food better.  That’s why it’s no sacrifice to me, to get rid of a microwave.  It’s no sacrifice to skip the freezer section of the market where the overly processed microwave “food” is found in all that packaging.  It’s no sacrifice to cook great meals and reheat them in a saucepan on the stove, or by heating them in the oven.  It’s no sacrifice to make real popcorn, and buying popcorn kernels is much cheaper than microwave popcorn, and doesn’t come with all that extra packagine.  It’s no sacrifice to make a fresh cup of coffee rather than reheating an old one.  Find out how to brew Tiny House Coffee here.

12 coffee

Xaver’s Tiny House Coffee

In a tiny house situation, the power a microwave requires may also be a problem since it may overwhelm the system or cause a breaker to flip.  Trust me, that always happens when it’s cold, rainy, and after dark and then one of us has to go out in that weather with a flashlight to get the breaker turned back on!  lol!  In an off-grid situation, running a microwave may not even be an option because they are such energy hogs.  So part of becoming comfortable with tiny house living may include finding other ways to cook food without the use of the microwave.

Finally, there are some very real health concerns in microwaved food.  I’ve read the results of various research on the topic and I’m convinced there are valid concerns.  However, I’m not interested in debating any of that.  I’m not a scientist but I do respect what scientist do.  For me it’s much simpler to cook without it to remove the question, and the concern – and even the debate.  I really don’t want the debate!  In fact, I am willing to be ridiculed on this topic (and have been – at length!) rather than even engage in the battle.  I love peace.  I love people, even when we disagree.  I’m very secure that the choice I’ve made is the right one for me and of course I recognize that some folks won’t agree.  And that’s actually fine with me.  I choose not to eat microwaved food and I prefer not to eat in restaurants where I know the food will be microwaved.  Food artists don’t cook that way anyway, so that’s hardly a sacrifice.  No problem.  In short, I lose nothing by avoiding a microwave.  I skip the health concern and I eat better food.  Where’s the sacrifice?

16 mealsIf you have a microwave, take it out and look it over.  It’s an automatic toss if it is damaged or malfunctioning.  Put it in the garage or other distant room of the house for a while.  Clean the spot where the microwave was and consider your kitchen without it.  Make a contest of it and see who can go the longest without using it.  You have nothing to lose.

What you “need” is based on what you’re used to.  Change what you’re used to, and it will change what you need.  So the best way to make a real change in your kitchen is to simply dive in and get going.  You may not think that you can “go tiny”, but I know you can.  And from my years of experience living in 120 square feet, I can honestly tell you that what you gain makes every “sacrifice” worth it.  (Otherwise I would not have purchased a short bus where the living space will be 110 square feet!)  In time you might even find that none of it was actually a sacrifice, at least that’s how I feel.

I’m Carmen Shenk, the Tiny House Foodie, reminding you that we can #LiveTiny #EmbraceSimplicity and still #EatWell.  Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it!29c45-1a2bcarmen

 

Detox Your Cleaning Cabinet – Day 3

Monday we started by thinking about our own unique WHY? so that we keep our focus, Tuesday we started by choosing our favorite items in our home.  These are the safe items that won’t be downsized.  Today we tackle the cleaning closet.  Since there are so many toxins in the products we use to clean our homes, and since cleaning, downsizing, and organizing go hand in hand… I thought I’d tackle this difficult topic right up front so that we don’t spend the month of January steeping ourselves in toxic chemicals in the effort to clean and organize our environment.  Download the “Think Dirty” app for your phone or iPad and let’s get started with non-toxic alternatives for your home.  Here are a number of recipes that you might find helpful, of course there are a million more available online.  I look for recipes that are frugal, natural and non-toxic, and don’t take up a lot of space in a tiny house.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Recipes mentioned in the video include:

Simple Clean:

1 cup distilled water (use tap water when you intend to use all the solution in 2 weeks)

1 teaspoon rubbing alcohol (to make the water and oil emulsify – may omit)

15 drops of the essential oil or blend of your choice. *Blend recipes below.

Combine in a spray bottle. Shake sprayer, saturate surface, then wipe with dry clean cloth.

All Purpose Cleaner:

1 cup distilled water

2 T to ¼ cup castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s) depending on how soapy you like it.

15 drops of the essential oil or blend of your choice.  *Blend recipes below.

Combine in a spray bottle.

Shake sprayer gently and wipe with a damp cloth, otherwise the castile soap will leave a soapy residue.

Vinegar Cleaner:

1/2 cup distilled water

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar

½ juiced lemon

15 drops of the essential oil or blend of your choice. *Blend recipes below.

Combine in a spray bottle, keep in the refrigerator because of the lemon juice.

(**Vinegar cleaner and citrus oils not for use on stone counter tops.)

Thieves Household Cleaner:

1 teaspoon (1 cap full) Thieves Household Cleaner + two cups of water in a spray bottle. No additional essential oils required. More recipes using Thieves Household Cleaner to make a variety of specific household cleaners are available at Anoint-Ed.com.  It really is the simplest and best non-toxic household cleaner and can be used for a dusting spray, carpet spot cleaner, toilet cleaner, kitchen counter spray, bathroom cleaning spray, daily shower cleaner, grout cleaner, mold remover, garden pest control, pet odor remover, floor cleaner, air freshening spray, stain spray/stain stick in the laundry, and as a bleach replacement. In short, this spray will banish the ICK from every area of your home including exercise equipment, toys, diaper pail, high chair, baseboards, pet areas, furniture, door knobs, walls, tires, luggage, car tires, and car interior.

My Favorite Essential Oil Blend Recipes:

Try a different combination each time.

Garden Fresh: 5 drops Lemon, 5 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Lavender

Woodsy: 5 drops Eucalyptus, 5 drops Idaho Balsam Fir, 5 drops Cedarwood

Bright: 5 drops Lemon, 7 drops lemongrass, 3 drops Patchouli

Minty Fresh: 5 drops Spearmint, 5 drops Peppermint, 3 drops Frankincense

Festive: 6 drops Orange, 4 drops Cinnamon, 5 drops Frankincense

Assignment: Clean out your cleaning closet, download the “Think Dirty” app and throw away any cleaners that score a 7 or higher.  If you need to order non-toxic alternatives, place your order right away and get a jump on green cleaning in the New Year.  As always, leave me a comment and let me know how you’re doing with this video series.  Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it!29c45-1a2bcarmen