Man’s primal instinct
was not the hunting instinct
in ancient times
before man had spears and weapons
he roamed the prairies
and he was gathering!
he was gathering roots
and he was gathering fruits
and eggs and nuts
and selfdead animals
the modern man
I can feel how the primal man breaks forth
when I race with the cart
and I gather and gather and gather…
~Andri Snær Magnason~
Time seems to be walking out the door before I can even try to catch it here. With half of my semester in Iceland already over I still can’t help but feel I’m continuing to climb my way through the novelty stages.
Despite this, however, today is mid-term assessments.
Pretty cool to look back and see that when I boarded that plane in Boston and told my husband I was saying goodbye to me too, it wasn’t just lip service.
I’m definitely a different person today.
For starters, I’ve become a full-blown vegetarian after more than three and a half decades of gleefully stuffing my pie hole with tacos, chicken fingers, and bacon wrapped scallops.
As a matter of fact, I was such a lover of bacon before coming on this trip that my bio site described me as a “lover of living and eater of bacon.”
I have since amended that description to say, “eater of chocolate.”
I started a month ago by cutting out all meat but chicken and fish, but then I found the wonderment and versatility of quinoa and decided to just go all the way. Since quinoa is a complex protein rich in nutrients I’m not left feeling hungry at the end of my meals like I used to be when attempting to go vegetarian by replacing my meats with veggies exclusively.
As a result of this choice, I’m thrilled to say another part of who I am that I’ve been able to wave goodbye to is nine pounds of my former self.
Getting out to hike more often I’m sure hasn’t hurt, but even without going on any major outings over the last few weeks I’m continuing to lose the weight.
So there’s all that…and then there’s the philosophical transformations:
I think my favorite so far was inspired by a meeting we had with one of Iceland’s most famous environmental activists and authors, Andri Snær Magnason.
During our meeting with him we got a chance to ask some questions and when it was my turn, I asked him what he’d say to a person working actively to improve their world who was beginning to feel jaded. His initial response was to suggest popping a few Prozac and carrying on but after the giggles subsided he suggested that our perceptions are our own choice.
The challenges we face in the world today can be looked at as daunting chores or they can be looked as opportunities for creativity and imagination: a chance to rebuild the world in our own vision.
I couldn’t be happier to have asked that question. Makes me feel good about carving out my own version of sustainability.
If you want to use yours to help build a greener world check out some really simple tips on living more sustainably by clicking here. I promise they’re all really simple!
To learn more about how you can use your vision to reduce climate changing carbon in the atmosphere by simple tweaks to your dietary choices (not all of which require eliminating meat), click here.
And to peek at a few pics of my experiences over the last week or two in this beautiful landscape enjoy this slideshow below, and as always, until next time, smile BIG!
Sass another wonderful post! I am so happy for you and that things continue to go well and get even better each week. In response to last week or two weeks ago with the home sickness; nothing beats a hand written letter home. Plus your kids get the added benefit of knowing that letter has become a world traveler!
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Thanks, love! I’ve been so lucky that I’ve been receiving some handwritten letters. Finally going to get some time tonight to write some back, and I can’t wait! Love your take on it: world traveler. :) Awesome. <3 (like you)
:) I couldn’t be more proud of who you are Sass. This was entertaining and inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this…and not just because we’re married – because it was excellent! Thank you for continuing to share your experience, I always walk away pondering the content and find myself using your links and information to better serve this world and our children. Good on ya mate! ♥
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<3 Thank you my love! Some of the recipes on the quinoa links look sooo good! Can't wait to cook them with you when I get home!
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I too, hope to be there some time that you happen to make one of the dishes! I’m definitely intrigued with quinoa; where I can find it, and how to go about cooking with and using it in some meals! Your posts are fantastic and always lead to lots of time as I explore some of the different links. Love, Dad
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Thanks, Dad!! :)
Jason was having trouble finding it too. Some of the other students I’m here with said you can find it in the health food section. If you want to ask a store associate it’s pronounced “keen-wa.”
Other options are Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or any other small health food store in your area.
Good luck! If you find it and make something yummy, let me know! <3