Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Eat and Run

I painted the kids bedroom on Sunday. I'm a chemical-phobe and wanna-be tree hugger, so naturally I investigated several low or "no" VOC options. The first option, a German product called Unearthed Paint, was truly no-VOC. Biodegradable, mineral-based paint, natural and of the Earth, so to speak. I ordered a sample which arrived in a brown paper bag and required my blender for mixing the white powder with water and natural pigment. What resulted was a drippy watery mess. The sample looked light and airy and slightly chalky on the wall, great for a kids room. But the drippiness made it very hard to handle.

Months passed. I debated ordering a second sample. Trying to make it work. But this paint would cost 100s to cover the wall. And then the Bzz Agent free gallon of Benjamin Moore Aura "no" VOC paint offer arrived. I had considered this paint initially but knew it was not biodegradable, not truly VOC-free. Still, how do you say no to a free gallon of $60-70 paint?

I bought the paint plus another gallon. More months passed. In exchange for the free paint I was supposed to use it then review it, talk it up online. But I couldn't bring myself to.

Finally this weekend I cracked the can and painted the dreadful 80s not-quite-Hunter green walls a deep lavender my daughter picked. I couldn't be more disappointed.

The paint went on evenly and covered the green in one coat without priming. BUT. The fumes! Maybe these are environmentally friendly fumes, who knows. But they're bad. Three nights later and the kids are still sleeping in our room thanks to the paint fumes.

Maybe these fumes are more environmentally-friendly than other. I don't know. But the room wreaks  of chemicals and I'm kicking myself for not going with the German paint. My kids could have taste-tested Unearthed Paints and I wouldn't have worried.

There is an advantage, though, to the fumes, to the kids sleeping in our room. No mindless TV for three days. The only TV in the house is in our room and it is usually off until until the kids go to bed. Now it is staying off. And we have been reading.

Scott Jurek's life story "Eat and Run" has my full attention. He is one of the top ultramarathoners in the world and he advocates a plant-based, (vegan), unprocessed, organic diet for runners and all planet-conscious humans. He even includes recipes.

I've attempted to go veg in the past with varying degrees of success. I believe a vegan diet makes sense for the body and the planet but I've never been good at restricting foods. Then again, until a year ago I had never been good at exercising regularly, so maybe it is time to try again. The most successful we have been was when the whole family went vegetarian after our daughter's last round of chemo. We felt Veges and Fruits would help detox her body from the arsenal of chemo and other meds that had been thrown at her. We lasted about a year until my husband went back to work (after a 4 year stint as a stay at home dad). Since he's the family cook, it fell apart after that.

But it's time to try again. I want to run faster. I want to feel healthier and leaner. I am eating too much junk. I haven't declared the family meat-free, but I am dabbling in plant-based meals. Last night was bean taco night. Tonight I made tempeh and rice with red curry peanut sauce and a side salad of brussel  sprout leaves, fresh grapefruit, and avocado topped with sriracha walnuts. Very bit from scratch!

I have to thank Jurek for his inspiration and recipes! When I finish his book I'll have to find another similar one to keep me on track. Any suggestions?

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