New Fascination: Zero Waste

I saw a video on Facebook the other week from the blog “Trash is for Tossers” about fitting 5 years of trash into ONE TINY JAR. Like. I throw more than a jar’s worth of trash away in a day. My question is… HOW? The answer is simple and not simple. You have to change your lifestyle to be able to go “Zero Waste”.

What is Zero Waste? Well, friends, it’s when the life you lead doesn’t produce garbage or trash that will end up in a landfill. But Roxanne, (you’re saying to yourself), how will I buy anything ever? There’s trash connected to everything we buy. Food comes in packages, tags are attached to clothes, and electronics come wrapped in plastic, heck when someone gives you a present it’s wrapped in bows and paper.

The first step: Assess your life and think about what it is you are throwing away, and how to limit that. Are you getting food in wrappers that are thrown away on a regular basis, like chips, protein bars, and juice bottles? Well, make those granola bars instead of buying the box of individually wrapped ones. Buy and use fabric produce bags to prevent taking a plastic bag every time you need a few apples. It’s all about being conscious of what you are doing on a day to day basis and choosing different products.

It’s all about making better choices. Making smarter, healthier, and more earth-friendly choices.

The 5 R’s of Zero waste: 

Refuse: Just say NO! No to plastic bottles of water, wrapped candies, straws in your drink, plastic bags at the store. Say no to plastic cups of beer at parties. Yeah bringing your own jar for a drink might look a little weird, but you aren’t making trash so let them look at you funny.

Reduce: You can cut back on the trash that you accumulate by making some simple purchases, like the items in the photo below. You can get your produce from the farmer’s market and reduce the amount of packaging you throw away. Shopping in the bulk area of the grocery store, getting local soaps, meats, and other package free products are a great way to start.

Recycle: This is an easy one to understand. Get things in recyclable packages, and recycle. Make an effort to not throw your recyclables in the trash. Also, buy things that are compostable, biodegradable, or eco-friendly. Buying local products didn’t come from a large plant and use fuel emissions to get shipped to you is another smart choice.

Reuse: Looks like you’re gonna have to spend money to save money. Get yourself some “Zero Waste” gear. Get reusable produce bags, grocery bags, jars for bulk food, reusable water bottles. ALSO start getting cozy with your local thrift store because this will be the best way to find awesome gently used clothes, furniture, and other household items.

Rot the Rest: Start a compost bin! There are a ton of ideas on the web for composting in small spaces, in your yard, and how to get started. Keep your food scraps and make them into the dirt to grow some herbs and veggies if you have a small apartment patio, or make a larger compost pile if you have an actual backyard.

Follow the Litterless blog and check out this post on how to get started. Litterless also makes a great point here about why to go zero waste: “I think it’s really critical for several reasons. First of all, trash doesn’t decompose in landfills – instead, it sits there more or less unchanged forever, belching out greenhouse gases like methane.”

Follow my “Off the Grid” Pinterest Board for Zero Waste ideas!

Remember, you CAN make a difference. One person at a time!


Ideal Shape up 12 Week Challenge

I posted in the past about the 15 day challenge that my friend and I did, and completed, a program by Trainer Lindsay Matthews from the IdealShape site. Best of all, it’s FREE. The meal plan, the workouts are all on YouTube, and there are Facebook groups you can join for support as well. It’s my kind of workout plan! The workouts are 6 days a week, but only 30 minutes a day, complete with a warmup and a cool down video. I was skeptical about the challenge because I’ve never stuck to a workout plan in my LIFE and never seen results when I did. But little did I know, I have really only stuck to plans that have lasted 3 or 4 weeks and then given up… But I have to say, this was different. It took a few weeks for me to see results, and a few more for everyone else. It took about 5 months for me to have to go buy new clothes, and see a real difference. I tell myself, it took me 33 years to put this weight on, it will take me more than a few weeks to take it off!

Processed with MOLDIV


October 2015 / May 2016. 167 lbs vs 150 lbs.

And again, after photos in August 2016 after losing almost 30 pounds! (After weight being 140 pounds)

By no means was I overweight, but I was wearing a “plus size” in pants, and the Wii fit told me I was overweight for my height… And that was discouraging. But my best friend was doing this challenge at the same time I was so we kept each other on track, and I’m SO happy I did. I’ll be starting the program over when it’s done, and just picking up heavier weights to keep improving and getting stronger.

I also gained some important habits in the last 16 weeks too like my eating habits, (I can’t really eat fried foods or too much dairy or sweets anymore.) I eat way more fruits, veggies, and lean meats. I also drink WAY more water than I used to. I get up earlier in the morning and feel like I spend less money on food since I just buy almond milk and protein powder now for breakfast instead of cereal, eggs, oatmeal, and a ton of other random stuff. If anything the 12 week challenge was a gateway into a healthier lifestyle because I started to see and feel results, it’s something that helped me build my confidence and made me a better person overall.

Bottom line, I recommend it!


Week One of 60 Day Challenge

So week one has come to a close of my 60 day challenge and I have to day, I’m tired. I’ve gained 3 pounds, and I just want to take a nap, like all day long. But I’m not giving up! According to  you gain weight when you start working out for one of 4 reasons. One of which is water weight due to inflammation because of the micro-tears your muscles go through when you work out. Once the inflammation goes down, you will lose the weight. You can also be eating the wrong things because working out, you get hungrier than normal, and may be reaching for the wrong foods. Which isn’t my problem. I am eating about 1500 calories a day and working out for an hour each morning.



I’ve started to do P90X, and a week in, my body is sore! But I’m going to stick to it, and I know my body will get stronger. I’ve taken 32 years to put on this weight, and let my muscles take the back seat to fat cells, and I’m ready for them to switch roles. And no you are NOT seeing my before pics until I have some awesome after pics to compare them to.

cat mat

Bogey loves when I’m on the yoga mat. He thinks it’s cuddle time.

I also had my first massage last week, with a gift certificate I had won, and it was amazing! (I WILL go back!) I learned a lot about my body too, which parts could use more work, why my back gets tight when I get anxious, and how my hips need some work, my bones are being weird and probably because of my weight. I carry my weight in my hips and backside. So I’m getting fit for my health.

So far this week, (5 of the 7 days)

  • Every morning I drink a glass of hot honey lemon water.
  • Eat a bowl of oatmeal with Almond milk for my pre workout carbs.
  • Workout! (P90X – following the schedule for “P90X Lean”)
  • Eat 200 calories of protein, either scrambled eggs or a protein shake.
  • Set a goal to accomplish something around the house and do it.
  • Try to eat more protein and veggies than carbs for my other meals.
  • Track my meals with the “Lose It” app.
  • Take a multi vitamin with dinner.
  • Brush teeth and wash face before bed!
  • Get 8 hours of sleep!

Note: These are ALL things I did not do before so positive results are expected to come!

These are habits I’m starting to grow into, and I want to keep them for the rest of my days.

Progress to come!



Wheatgrass Juice without a Juicer

Being the fiancé of a specialty farmer/gardener there are a lot of interesting edible greens growing in the back yard. Micro-greens, edible flowers, produce, and, wheatgrass. According to Wikipedia: “Wheatgrass is a good source of potassium, a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E(alpha tocopherol), vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, zinc, copper,manganese and selenium, and has a negligible amount of protein (less than one gram per 28 grams). Adding other foods with complementary amino acid profiles to this food may yield a more complete protein source and improve the quality of some types of restrictive diets.

Wheatgrass proponent Charles Schnabel claimed in the 1940s that “fifteen pounds of wheatgrass is equal in overall nutritional value to 350 pounds of ordinary garden vegetables”,[3] a ratio of 1:23.[6] Despite claims of vitamin and mineral content disproportional to other vegetables, the nutrient content of wheatgrass juice is roughly equivalent to that of common vegetables.”

Wow! You get a lot of nutrients from wheatgrass, and if we have access to it, why won’t I use it?

We have a juicer, which you will see in one of the photos below, but when we do wheatgrass in it, it just clogs up the blades and makes it hard for other things to get through. You need a special wheatgrass and greens blade to juice greens, which we don’t have. I’ve heard of being able to blend wheatgrass with water and strain it, but I wanted to get more nutrition out of that process, so I used coconut water.


First, take your wheatgrass and cut it at the base with scissors.


Cut the wheatgrass, and cut it into about 2″ long pieces and put it in the blender. I was able to blend about a half of a flat at once.


I found that with a full blender, you need about a cup of liquid to really blend it.


Once you blend it, on high speed, and for a while, until it blends smooth, you’ll have a small amount of liquid in your blender along with some pulp of wheatgrass.


I used a simple strainer to strain the juice. Use a spoon to push the wheatgrass into the strainer. You’ll end up with some pulp that looks like what a cat will hack up in the yard, so I’ll spare you the photo.


The finished product! It smells like a fresh cut lawn, so I recommend mixing it with some juice, or into a smoothie. Enjoy!

Help Getting to Sleep

I don’t suffer from insomnia, but I have in the past. During times of extreme stress, the mind doesn’t shut down, it goes faster. You are tired, and yet you can’t sleep. Your eyes shut and your mind doesn’t drift off into dream land like it should. I’m no doctor and don’t have a solution for this issue, but what about those regular ol’ nights where you just lie in bed, tired, and can’t get to sleep right away? You stare at the ceiling pondering the ways of the world. You know that in T-Minus 6 hours you have to wake up and that’s not quite enough sleep. Here are some of the things I’ve personally tried that have helped me get some quality shut eye.

Apps: By far my favorite app for sleeping is called Dorimo. I have the IPhone and it works beautifully. It has sounds of Lake Michigan, with subtle waves and birds, it has a crackling fire, rain, and my personal favorite, a good old fashioned thunderstorm. There are also ambient noises available and sleep coaches talking you into a deep sleep. It also has a timer to shut off after a set amount of time so it doesn’t kill your phone. I love it. Also- It’s FREE.


Drinks: I have tried this drink I found on Pinterest to help me get to sleep. It’s a warm Turmeric and Almond Milk drink. Turmeric is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to help your body relax and replenish at night. I got this recipe from Nutrition Stripped. 

Turmeric Milk


  • 2 cups of homemade almond milk (I like Silk brand) 
  • 1 tablespoon local honey, optional
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • small pinch of black pepper and grated ginger (fresh is best)

Sleep Aids: I have tried both Tylenol PM and Melatonin, and having tried each only once, I vote for Melatonin. It’s a replacement for the natural chemical your body releases when it falls asleep, and the Tylenol PM made me groggy in the morning. You can get some Melatonin at your local pharmacy.

Smells: I have a great Lavender / Vanilla room spray from Bath and Body Works. Lavender is a natural calming scent and should help sooth you into dream land. Stay away from anything too invigorating in the bedroom like citrus scents or strong perfumes.

Pillows: I am the most finicky sleeper. I toss, I turn, I have 3 blankets and 2 pillows to choose from depending on my mood. One is a memory foam pillow, firm and yet forgiving for my head, and great for keeping your head elevated. I also have a fluffy feather pillow (from IKEA) that sinks in deep and I use when I just want a little support. Sometimes I don’t want a pillow at all. Try a few and see what works for you. If you are uncomfortable, you will have a harder time getting to sleep.

Other Advice: If you are trying to get some good quality sleep, opt for reading a book as opposed to a tablet or a phone screen. The lights your tablet and phones project are bad at kicking your mind into sleep mode. Try soothing music at least an hour before bed like some great classical. My choice: Bach.

Again, I’m not a professional, or an insomniac, but these are things I’ve tried that have worked for me. I am a known worrier, and naturally anxious person, so sometimes I need a little nudge into the land of nod.

Happy Dreaming!

Field Trip: Love Rock Farm

Last week a few of my fellow coworkers and I took a field trip to an amazing little New Berlin Farm, Love Rock Farm, where we get some of the produce for the Restaurant I’m spending my summer working for. A bit about Love Rock: Love Rock is a CSA and market garden that supplies delicious, herbicide and pesticide free fruits and vegetables to over 25 families and a handful of restaurants in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. This will be the CSA’s second season and they are excited to expand their offerings by adding eggs, poultry and flower options to the CSA shares this year.

What is CSA? It’s a Community Supported Agriculture farm where you can either use some of their land to grow your own veggies as a volunteer in exchange for food, and you can also “buy in” as a member to receive a box of produce every week, or bi-weekly for a small price. For those that don’t have the time to shop and want fresh goods delivered, this is a great option.

I knew the farm was run mostly by one person, Drew, our head chef’s brother, but I didn’t realize the size of this farm! He’s working long hours, asking for volunteers in return for produce, and hand picking and delivering produce, it’s like 2 full time jobs!


This is a view from the backside (yes, I said backside) of the farm. to the left were some abandoned crops that had life in them. Being a CSA farm, you are able to use other’s land to use as gardening space if you have none of your own at home.


The space was much larger than I had expected for being in the city. It was actually gorgeous, and on a lake.


It’s hard to tell that’s a lake, but it is.


The cucumbers were grown in this tent, to contain them. They grow fast, and spread faster.

drew in the field

Crops that weren’t quite ready yet.


Baby crops.

cabbage fields

I loved the cabbage patch. Due to obvious reasons that I grew up in the 80’s and had a cabbage patch. We have a dish at the restaurant that has grilled Ox Heart cabbage, pine nuts, and anchovy oil. SO good! If you haven’t thought of grilling cabbage, consider it.

cabbage head

This reminded me of the Little Shop of Horrors plant.

cabbage gif

Cabbage presentation.

chicken college

One of my favorite parts of the tour was the chickens! I got to hold one. There are about 20 chickens there, and one giant rooster that apparently has his “favorite girls” and you aren’t allowed to hang out with them. It’s like chicken drama. I love it.

chicken holding



There was a LOT of garlic. This barn smelled amazing and can definitely ward off vampires. Drew sells his produce at the Milwaukee farmer’s market every weekend.

pulling potatoes

This is Drew’s mother in law harvesting some potatoes. They pulled 150 pounds that day between her, another coworker, and my fiancée. It was cool to see how potatoes just fall off of the bushes they grow from when you pull them from the ground.

the fields 2

A view from the barn! There are many varieties of tomatoes, but only a few were ready at the moment.

The Barn 2

The beam sticking out of the top window in the barn is used to attach a pulley and bring produce up to the top floor to dry out.


I had to take a pic of the great vintage pulley.

the fields

Here’s the beam. We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day.

The farmstand 2

Here’s some of the produce at the street front farm stand. Someone doesn’t watch the farmstand, you leave money based on the honor system. It was refreshing to see people act this way in the Milwaukee area.

farm stand

Carrots and Cucumbers and Cabbage, oh my! Drew sent Matt (fiancée) home with a box of amazing produce for a day of volunteer work helping out. A lot of farmer’s offer this as a bargain for help weeding, pulling, and harvesting. It’s totally worth it, just bring water, and sunscreen. He told me that as they got hungry pulling veggies, there was plenty of fresh food to snack on.

Happy farming!

Happiness Journal

For years as a teen, and in my early 20’s I kept a journal. I have either packaged them away or thrown them away due to the fact that I was using them to vent and complain in. Mostly about my relationships and my negative home life. But what good does that do to me, and my mental state to dwell on the bad things? Sure at the time it was cathartic to be able to get out my emotions on paper and it helped to make sense of them sometimes but later it didn’t help me to see how far I’ve come, just how lost and confused I was. And I felt bad for the old me that I was in certain situations that I had little or no control over. So I decided to make a “Self Help / Happiness Journal” book, as it were. I keep it in my purse and read through it when I’m feeling down about myself or life, but I should read it every day. I fill it with articles  and uplifting quotes that are motivational and let me know I’m normal in my feelings, and how to improve on my mental well being.

Truth be told, I’m someone that needs “cognitive behavioral therapy,” which is (in a nutshell) constant positive reminders to change negative brain waves and patterns that weren’t normal or proper that I grew to know as facts, due to being surrounded by negative people as a child. Now that I’m an adult, I know that I feel something should be different or I should feel a certain way but I don’t, and I need to remind myself things over and over to change and retrain my brain.

Happiness Book Cover


My “journal” or little book is a basic Moleskin book that I’ve colored a picture to the cover of. I got the kind with blank pages so I can do drawings inside if I like as well as write.

Happiness Book 1

Some of my scribbles. This article on “How not to feel like an Outsider” was helpful.

Happiness Book 2

10 Habits of Happy People. I just watched a Soul Pancake video on how not just gratitude, but expressing that gratitude makes people happy. It’s proven!

Happiness Book 3

Free ways to reward myself and things that make me happy. Otherwise I love to reward my happy days with shopping. Bad idea. Retail therapy always works, but it can get as expensive as REAL therapy.

happiness book 5

An article I read on 5 unchanging elements of an incredible life. The next page says “I Will” instead of “To Do” because making a to do list telling yourself you WILL do something means you are more likely to get it done.

Reminders about why I should be and stay happy are exactly what an existential person like myself needs! I suggest this for everyone. Even a small book with quotes in it can be uplifting in a sour time.

Happy motivating!