Emotional resilience for the win.

Yikes, I haven’t blogged in weeks. Yesterday I was finally in the mood to blog and sat at the computer all prepared to write about how I’ve been a bit down, and how that has sapped my motivation. Instead of blogging I’ve done a fair bit of thinking about how I can be very ambitious and enthusiastic but then also somewhat fragile, with life crap putting me ‘in a funk’. To be fair, it HAS been a tough few weeks, with some deep-seated issues that have had to be contemplated (family stuff) but my resilience has not been as high as I would like. Perhaps that sounds a little cold-hearted. But when I say ‘emotional resilience’ I don’t mean that I don’t want to feel things, or that I don’t want upsetting situations to affect me.

Shifting perspective on certain things in my own mind really helped. You have to find a way to cheer on the positive side of the internal debate. I was just beginning to do this with some success and then an interesting thing happened.

I was literally sitting at the computer and about to write how life has been upsetting, but now I had processed everything that I needed to, or at least organised my life to the point that I wasn’t dwelling on something that was bothering me. And then I got a message from a friend. A pregnancy announcement. Now, I consider myself an unusual infertility blogger, I don’t write a lot about how I’m heartbroken that I can’t have kids; I definitely don’t write about ‘doing whatever it takes’ (there is plenty that I won’t do) and friends in real life have described me as pretty strong when it comes to dealing with this loss. In fact, my outward demeanour when it comes to discussing my lack of reproduction is so calm that some might be forgiven for thinking that it doesn’t upset me at all. Yet those familiar with infertility blogs or simply attuned to the difficult emotional issue of infertility (or subfertility, even) know that pregnancy announcements can hurt.

For whatever reason my friend chose to announce her pregnancy in a very casual and brief Facebook message. Along the lines of ‘by the way, I’m pregnant’. So, initially the hurt was about the delivery of the message. Anyway, because I was already thinking about emotional resilience a few thoughts occurred to me in quick succession: “pfft, whatever, even though she said she wasn’t interested in having kids I am 100% not surprised and good for her, I’m happy for her”, “hang on, am I denying my own feelings here? Surely I’m a little bit jealous?”, “yup, I am upset, a week ago I was indulging negative thoughts about how worthless I am and about how my life is going nowhere, and this doesn’t help”, “but, I was just pleased with dragging my sorry self out of that funk, and this doesn’t have to change that at all”. Well, maybe for one or two minutes.

In the end I wound up really proud of myself, and that’s why I wanted to write this while it’s still fresh, as a lesson to remember. In the end it doesn’t matter how the announcement was made because the fact that she is pregnant would have hurt a little regardless. Previously I may have dwelled on that hurt for too long and struggled with an inner conflict that I couldn’t resolve because I didn’t understand it. But I’ve done enough soul searching on this topic now that I can acknowledge the hurt, shed a few tears even, but then focus on the positive things that I still have, and then I can quickly get back to the main task of living the life that is right for me.

Is that a bit vague? In real terms it meant that although something affected me enough to shed a few tears of disappointment, I knew that no-one was to blame for that hurt, that sometimes life just hurts. So instead of losing motivation and watching garbage youtube videos while eating way too many corn chips, I was able to carry on with my pleasant afternoon. Yesterday that meant hanging out the washing, making veggie stock from scraps stored in the freezer, taking out my frustrations on the mountain with late afternoon shadows growing longer as I huffed and puffed and double-checked for pockets of denial, and then cooking a favourite soup to share with friends that evening.

Writing about the whole exercise in mental gymnastics now isn’t the easiest thing to do. Processing difficult emotions is great when you can do it quickly, and going over them for the purpose of blogging feels dangerously like old bad habits of over-analysing. But it’s fine, because I’m motivated to write this post not because it’s therapeutic for me to vent (not this time anyway), but because I genuinely hope that this could help someone else. When I first got told that I wouldn’t be making humans it was upsetting and I wasn’t sure why, there was a lot to figure out. I went looking for infertility blogs and I struggled to find one that I could really identify with. The crux of the matter was that I knew I could live a good life without raising children but then why was I still upset? The answer to that is very complex, and dependent on my particular circumstances, but one thing that should resonate with others struggling with infertility is feelings of being left out.

Yes, there was a tiny little bit of jealousy upon hearing that my friend was pregnant. And yes, the delivery of the message was very blunt and with no consideration shown towards my ‘situation’, but that wasn’t really what bothered me. The tears were for my lost friendship. Now this is really hard to write about, especially as a few of my friends might end up reading this! I talked about this with my husband last night and it was really useful. We talked about how friendships are formed and strengthened via shared experience.

Kids, especially when young, take a whole lot of focus in their parent’s lives. My focus is going to be elsewhere and I know that is going to affect my friendships. This is a really hard thing for me to admit, because I like to think of myself as a loyal friend. But I’m not going to know what it’s like to raise children, and they’re not going to know what it’s like to be me. And I have to strengthen my own focus in life rather than moping about the fact that mine is different. Speaking of which, this blog is helpful, but also not the main focus of my life! So that’s enough for now. I hope I got my point across that infertility is a bugger in that there are continual brief opportunities to be hurt but that as long as you have other good stuff going on then it’s easy enough to cope with. One of the benefits of infertility is extra time that you can devote to other passions, so I’m off to do that now!

autumnleaves
It’s autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, my favourite season

P.S. To any friends who are reading this, I still love you all dearly!

Use everything twice!

One persons trash is another’s treasure. I have little collections of ‘rubbish’ all over our small house, although I have become much better at organising these collections. No longer do I throw random rubber (elastic) bands, twist ties, ribbons etc into drawers, now there is a dedicated jar full of each of these used but still useful items.

And it’s great when you get a chance to re-use them. The other weekend I packed up some gifts to send over to America. The gifts are wrapped in tissue paper (saved after purchasing a new shirt etc.), the box and packing peanuts were from online shopping, the gift tags were card from a craft project literally years ago.

packing peanuts

Occassionally, you  do have to throw some of it out though. I’ve set myself a rule of only collecting a ‘fruit box worth’ of glass jars, any more go straight into the recycling bin after use. Of course seeing all of the salsa jars piling up reminds me that I should just make my own tomato salsa! That’s another bonus of hanging onto all of this disposable packaging, it shows you just how much waste is being created. And it makes you think, and perhaps even changes some habits.

jar cupboard
I cheat a little on my own jar rule by ‘using them’ to store dry goods (which I could just keep in the plastic bags they come in)

 

Camping trip

Over a week ago I did some more research into the whole infertility thing, because although i’d like to forget about it I can’t help thinking about my non-functioning ovaries. The research helped bring together some thoughts about it all, and I’d like to blog about those issues soon.

In the meantime, we went camping last weekend as planned. We only camped one night, but preceded that with a very enjoyable 4hr hike. Afterwards, it was lovely sitting around a camp fire, relaxing after all of that walking (including down into the steep ravine-like valley to check out a cave entrance, and then back up the very steep hillside). Also, this week a close family member of mine had a narrow escape with a serious health condition. It’s very unfortunate, of course, and it’s hard to know that someone you love is in pain, but it also serves as a reminder that life is short and you have to make the best of things.

To that end, I’m heading outside now for a shorter bush walk in my local suburb (I’m so grateful that I can do that so close to home!). So instead of properly blogging, I’ll just quickly put up these photos from our weekend trip:

skink

I took my new macro lens on the walk, which wasn’t great for capturing the landscape but at least the locals were willing to do a little modelling for me 🙂

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The ‘bush’
valley
Heading down into the valley to explore the caves
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There was a whole separate climate and ecosystem down in the damp caves
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Crossing the river near dusk, looking forward to a campfire and some red wine. The water is up to my knees while I take this shot

 

Quick post

I haven’t had time to post this week! A busy work week, and physically exhausted after bike commuting in the hot weather of the extended summer we’re having. But summer is officially over here, and the days are noticeably shorter. As per usual, we haven’t spent as much time in the great outdoors as we would have liked to this summer. But it’s a long weekend, so we’re packing up the car this morning and camping overnight somewhere. I’ll take the camera so should have some nice shots of the Aussie bush to share afterwards.

Lazy sustainability

Sometimes sustainability is hard work, as mentioned in my last post. These days I put more effort into living sustainably by riding my bike rather than driving, preparing more meals from scratch, attempting to grow my own vegetables, composting etc., etc. And I know that these lifestyle measures don’t suit everyone. Our child-free lifestyle and the fact that I currently work part time means that it is easy for me to soak dried beans overnight, and then monitor them for a few hours while I write a blog post or clean the house, rather than just opening a tin of refried beans (mmm, bean burritos/quesadillas/nachos). I’m also lucky in that I enjoy chopping vegetables, so doing things the longer way, with a knife, means that we don’t need to clutter up the kitchen with fancy appliances. The modern conveniences do help in our often-too busy lives but it’s more STUFF, and usually using electricity too. So it often seems that it’s a question of convenience vs. sustainability.

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It’s not always though. A while back we pruned some branches in the garden, then we left them gathered in a pile in our driveway. We could have taken the whole lot to the mulch supplier, who takes your discarded green waste and turns it into mulch, but we were lazy instead and left the pile where it was for a few weeks. Seeing as it doesn’t rain often in Canberra the leaves on the branches quickly turned dry and brittle and fell from the branches and twigs. This was fantastic. We collect vegetable waste from a few friends to add to our compost bin and sometimes I need to go hunting for dry materials to add to the sloppy wet vegetable waste for the correct mixture. This time we just lifted the larger branches out of our discard pile and then scooped and swept up the valuable leaves. Something that was a large volume of waste material that had to be disposed of had ‘magically’ transformed into half waste, half valuable feedstock material and all because we were too lazy to haul the waste away.

It made me think of other lazy sustainable measures that I use:

  •  installing solar panels (not personally, there were professionals involved). These of course involve some effort to earn the money for the initial outlay but the best part is that they eventually pay themselves off (certainly in this quite sunny part of the world). These also contribute to guilt-free use of our big appliances. We now only run the dishwasher/clothes washing machine when the sun is shining.
  • Water wise plants in the garden. Our garden came already planted with plants that grow on little water. I’ve added some native plants that require little input, maybe just a little pruning to encourage flowering.
  • I don’t dry dishes. If the dishwasher hasn’t dried things adequately (plastic lunch boxes!) or if I’ve hand washed a bunch of stuff, it remains in the dish rack till dry enough to put away. Why bother using a tea (dish) towel just for it to get that damp smell and then need washing?
  • More and more these days I don’t wear bras. I’ve always hated bra shopping (I’m an A cup, and therefore lucky that I don’t really need bras except for sport), so wearing them less often means buying less, and less washing. Oh and it’s a million times more comfortable.
  • When I need some basil from the garden I pick a whole stalk, strip the large leaves from the bottom and then store any remaining in a glass of water. Result: an easy way to start a new plant that just needs to be poked back into the soil once strong roots have been produced. At the end of summer now, my veggie beds are full of little basil plants. I’m looking forward to pesto.
basil
Ready for planting

There are probably plenty of other little actions that I don’t do, out of pure laziness that come with a sustainability bonus (like washing the car very infrequently).

One thing that I put some mental energy into at least, is noticing all of the single serve items that are used in food service these days. I think I noticed it especially when I was living in the U.S.A., where for instance, you will be handed a serviette/paper napkin with just about any food or drink purchase (um no, I don’t need some paper to hold my can of drink thanks). It’s supposed to signify good service or something but there are often times when you are given a whole wad of disposable paper in a bag of takeout (or ‘takeaway’ in English). Last weekend here in Canberra we came across a stall operated by one of the major supermarket chains, handing out free chocolate samples. So I asked for a piece, less than a square and was handed it with yet another disposable serviette. This ‘fancy’ marketing trick, aiming to make a cheap piece of chocolate seem like some delicacy did not work on me. Instead the chocolate went straight into my mouth, barely touching the serviette, which therefore remained clean enough to be pocketed. I’ll use it later when I’m feeling lazy and need to clean up a spill.

 

serviette
At least it won’t go straight into the bin

And straws! Back when I was in my twenties and spending too much time in bars it was the feminist in me that would be bugged by straws. Why is it that men are given mixed drinks without a plastic straw but it is assumed that a woman will want to demurely sip through a bit of disposable plastic? Not me, and luckily I’m not the only one. Check out the great work that The Last Straw are up to. Hopefully everyone can start being a bit more lazy with this kind of stuff and stop automatically handing out serviettes, straws, disposable cutlery etc. I’ll start putting some effort into refusing them!

Our lovely rug is hard work, but worth it

I don’t blog to spruik products but sometimes I’ll make exceptions, and especially if the products are from a social enterprise.

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Our lovely hand-hooked cotton rug is the second biggest eco-purchase we have made for our house (the first being solar panels). It’s made from up-cycled materials (off cuts from t-shirt manufacturing and used hessian rice sacks) but with a professional finish, made to last. Considering that it was painstakingly made by hand and provided a reasonable income to a family, the price was very reasonable and comparable to rugs/carpets of a similar size. The main expense was the shipping, from Cambodia where it was made to here in Australia. This was also because I ordered a difficult custom rug. I think it was the largest rug they had ever made. Oh, ‘they’ are Carpets for Communities and you can learn all about their fair trade business here: http://carpetsforcommunities.org/about-us/our-story/

It makes sense that the rugs they sell are mostly smaller than the 2.3 sq metres that I ordered. The cotton pile of the rug is quite deep and therefore provides the lovely sink-into feeling that I knew would cheer up our winter days, and provide a little luxury. It does however, mean that cleaning is a little trickier. The small rugs (and now pet beds!) are machine washable but I would need an industrial washer to cope with our large rug. Instead, as with many eco-solutions, it’s back to basics. We intend on taking the rug outside every few months for a good beating. I say ‘we’ because it can’t be lifted by one person.

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getting his frustrations out

So lifting the thing is a pain, but beating out the dust is kind of fun.It was also nice to inspect the backing to appreciate all the hard work that went into it.

In conclusion, it’s not the cheapest rug but if it’s a choice between slave labour or bare floors I’d choose bare floors. And it’s not the easiest rug to clean, but I love the fact that it is made out of materials that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

Sometimes the sustainable choice involves some sacrifice and that’s ok. But it’s not always hard work! My next post will be about sustainable actions that involve little or even no effort at all 🙂

P.S. The bright colours are completely my choice, all part of the fun of ordering a custom rug.

 

Appreciating what you have

My last blog post was about mood and wondering if/how much hormone fluctuations play into that. When I’m ‘down’ and also frustrated with my seeming lack of resilience it’s easy to get a little desperate and cling to notions with possible solutions, i.e. perhaps taking a hormone pill would ‘even me out’ and I’d be all the happier for it. However, I don’t think my wonky hormone levels have all that much to do with it. This week I’ve been bright and sunny compared to a gloomier week last week, and as a result nothing much has bothered me. I haven’t been irritable, or morose, impatient or any of the things I’d rather not be. And there are no signs of oestrogen production to account for this, I’m still in an extended interval between menstruation, just as I was last week. So what changed? My outlook. I improved the way I look at and react to the world with a little bit of self-talk, pondering and a large serving of help from my lovely husband.

The best part of my lifted mood is being able to enjoy all of the ‘little things’ in life more, and that’s something that I DO want to focus on. After all, taking note of all the little delightful things happening around you in turn leads to a lifted mood. It’s a good type of spiral rather than the vicious kind that can drag you down. And if you’re calm and happy you’re less likely to be irritated by tiny setbacks.

My morning routine at the moment is to take a lazy 15 min (to half hour…) to wake up with a cup of tea made for me by my husband (yes there are perks to not having kids!). This morning I had none of my usual black(ceylon) tea. If my emotional resilience was low something that minor might have annoyed me but when my husband pointed out that I had jasmine tea at the back of the cupboard I was happy to try that, to see if I would still get the pleasant start to the day that I was looking for. It turns out jasmine tea after a hot summer night is even more refreshing than black tea with milk, I’d just never considered it before.

After the tea, a short run and watering the garden it was time for breakfast and my initial thought again was ‘oh, we’re kind of out’. We didn’t have any bread for toast, we’d used up the last batch of homemade muesli/granola, we had some yoghurt but no fruit to make it interesting. After a quick look around the kitchen I came up with a satisfying, albeit unusual breakfast. I’d bought too many walnuts, so crumbled a handful of those into my yoghurt for texture/protein/flavour and then reached far into the fridge for a jar of jam that has literally been back there for more than a year. It’s gorgeous jam, from our favourite local producer, but a little strongly flavoured with cardamom and therefore doesn’t suit being slathered all over toast (what else do you do with jam?) so this last tablespoon or so has been languishing in the back of the fridge waiting for an alternative use. A modest amount swirled through the yoghurt and walnuts was lovely.

The tea and my breakfast concoction both reminded me that life is good, as long as you’re open to seeing it. It happens too often that we get stuck in old habits, that our houses become crammed with goods that we don’t even use and in my case, I purchase lovely, high-quality consumable goods to bring a little joy into my life but then forget to fully consume them! I guess what I’m trying to say is that this post is about gratitude. I’m grateful for my good mood that enables me to try new things, to appreciate the variety of experiences that are open to me, rather than dwell on anything that isn’t working/immediately available. I’m grateful for the good things that I have around me right now and grateful that I don’t feel the need to consume a whole heap more. I’ve had similar feelings when I’ve put a pile of clothes away due to underuse, then I forget I have them and I have a few temporary ‘I have nothing to wear!!’ frustrating moments before I find the pile again and usually surprise myself with “hey, this is good stuff!”.

Tea and jam and some old pants might not seem like much but it’s actually plenty. I can get in a funk about not having a baby of my own to coo over or not having a highly paid job (and therefore money to splash on luxuries whenever the whim takes me) but at those times I tend to forget that I love my excess time and all of the ways I can spend it. One of those ways is trying to live a little more sustainably each day. I’m going to enjoy the last spoonful of jam, then use the pretty jar to store something useful in, and eventually recycle it and I’ll be having a splendid time the whole while. Another aspect of my calm life (without children or an overly demanding job) that leads to happiness and enjoyment is that I can take a little time to ‘smell the roses’, in essence I can be a little more childlike myself. Yesterday I went into work a little earlier than usual so I was able to appreciate some of the rarer/shyer local birds in the tall trees of the car park before other people scared them away. I was able to spend a while standing and watching the birds, in pure enjoyment of them without any of life’s little annoyances weighing on me and something like that is quite precious.

My emotional life, and sharing menstruation data

This blog has been a little neglected this month. There haven’t been many posts. One of the contributing reasons is that my emotions have been out of kilter somewhat, perhaps for the last two weeks? What I mean is that I have been frustrated, irritable, weepy or unmotivated when I don’t want to be. Not that I have been out of control of my emotions constantly for the full two weeks (who could cope with that?). Generally, it has been when I get a little introspective, when I’m not preoccupied with a task, and when I have a chance to tune into ‘my inner self’ or whatever you’d like to call that complex mix of neurotransmitters and thought patterns, both conscious and subconscious.

It’s easy to blame ‘hormones’ for that kind of thing, and I certainly have in the past (pre-menstrual syndrome, anyone?). Arguably I now have even more reason to blame hormones for my emotional trouble. I now know that my body produces the ‘wrong amount’ of certain key hormones such as oestrogens and progestogens, hormones that are thought to directly affect mood. But the scientist side of me knows that I can’t always employ the hormonal scapegoat. For one thing, I don’t have the data. I’d love it if there was a personal medical device where I could frequently take a pin-prick of blood, quickly get an analysis of some key hormones and then alter my behaviour accordingly (just like diabetics currently do). Instead the closest thing I have is keeping an eye out for cervical mucus. For instance, your cervical mucus is the most helpful hint in terms of monitoring ovulation, as a surge of oestrogen around mid-cycle should lead to a surge of ‘egg-white (consistency)’ cervical mucus (EWCM).

My ever-shortening menstrual cycles led to some hope that my ovarian insufficiency might be going into remission. This can happen, and no-one knows why. That alone is enough to make me a little crazy; there is the grief associated with being barren, but then wanting to surmount that by focusing on other things that make my life great, but then thinking ‘maybe this month…’. That hope faded somewhat when I ‘didn’t feel like’ I ovulated this month (not very scientific, although probabilistically sound), and further with a lack of EWCM at the predicted time. Although I did see some EWCM a little later than the predicted time.

How did I even have a ‘predicted time of ovulation’? I wrote recently about coming to the end of my little paper calendar that I used to track my menstrual cycles. This year I have moved onto something a little more modern and am now using an app!

There are many menstruation tracking apps available, and quite a few of these are focused on trying to conceive, and many of them are annoyingly ‘girly’ (as noted here in one of my favourite blogs). But I chose ‘Clue’, because it was free and I liked the design, and then I was thrilled to see that they actually provide scientific references for the advice that they dole out. The app is extremely easy to use, and it does look good, but I have already noticed a few downsides to the app after using it for about 6 weeks*. The main reason that it has been less comforting than my pen and paper solution is actually the main purported benefit: it’s not just a tracking tool, but a prediction tool. For ‘normal’ women, it will point out your ‘fertile window’ and the best time to try and conceive (or not!), and then when your next period is due to arrive, based on your last three cycles.

But those predictions can be upsetting. They’re little reminders of the mind games mentioned above (will this month result in one of those rare spontaneous pregnancies?). There is mention of PCOS on the ‘helloclue’ website, but as far as I can tell, no recognition of ovarian insufficiency (or ovarian failure, or early menopause). What they do mention though is a new capability to turn off the predictions, although I can’t just yet as I’m on android. Therefore, I couldn’t help expecting some vague signs of ovulation a few weeks after my last period. I didn’t detect anything worth relying on, and then had the bad luck of attending a party that just happened to be seemingly all about pregnancy/babies**, right after the predicted ‘fertile window’ that didn’t eventuate.

So, being disappointed about not ovulating (probably not?) contributed to my less than sunny disposition. Then a few weeks later, the app tells me that my cycle is (over)due. Yes, there is a chance (1 in 1000 or so according to the doctors) that I am pregnant right now, but no, it probably just means that my cycles are irregular (still). So, I have broken my streak of ‘approaching normal menstrual cycle length’. Which brings me back full circle, as I wonder “perhaps I was overly moody this month because my ovaries are functioning even lower again?!”. The truth lies somewhere between ‘my issues’ and the way I handle them making me moody, or my hormonal state exacerbating my emotional responses, and it most certainly is some combination of the two.

And this is exactly why I’m happy to hand over my health data in return for this free app, even if it doesn’t perfectly fit my needs. Because behind the Clue app is the capability to aggregate data from millions and millions of women, and hopefully get at some of the truth behind our hormones and our health, emotional or otherwise.

grasshopper
Mood: happy and calm, while chasing this little guy with my camera

The all-mighty fridge list

I used to waste a lot of food. I’d get carried away and buy too many ingredients. I’d buy my favourite vegetables, not having a firm plan of what I was going to do with them, but just so they were ‘there’. So that I would avoid eating chips, or toast, for dinner. I’d feel silly buying one carrot, so i’d buy 3 and then not store the spares properly. I actually only took notice of just how much I was wasting after I begun composting the waste. Back then we were living in an apartment and using a bokashi bin composting system, and I was filling it too often. The biggest tragedy was that I would be wasting good quality dairy products. For some reason I just had a mental block about tubs of yoghurt, I’d open them and enjoy the first serving but then they would be hidden at the back of the fridge and not noticed until I bought the next one and had to figure out which one was still edible. Even worse, I’d buy some nice cheese (bocconcini, or a good blue, or a nice ripe brie) and although i’d be tempted to gorge on it in one sitting (I love cheese!), I’d think I was being sensible by tucking some away, rationing myself. Sometimes I’d have to throw out quite a few dollars worth of spoilt cheese.

With two of us cooking it can get complicated too. An avocado might be cut open, even though there is half an avocado in the fridge from the day before.

Some people solve all this by having menu planners, but that doesn’t suit us. I still like to feel like I have some choice. Although now my choices are all ruled by the fridge list. I’m sure guests see the fridge list and think it’s a shopping list, and I think we’ve had that confusion with a houseguest or two also. For instance, broccoli might be on the list, and then I see that there is extra broccoli in the fridge, kindly donated by a guest. Now I know to explain, “Oh no, that list is the opposite of a shopping list! It’s a ‘use me first’ list”. Common things that appear on the list regularly are cut vegetables (half a tomato, or cucumber, or already peeled ginger etc.), and opened dairy goods (sour cream, yoghurt), but also featured are things that I bought too many of (zucchinis, or green beans), things that were meant for one meal idea but got waylaid (a leek, some cabbage), and of course leftovers of fully prepared meals.

Many of my lunches are now inspired by the fridge list, eg. just the other day I had too much cabbage but also a bit of Chinese sausage. That was a no-brainer, I just added a carrot and onion, a little garlic and ginger and a dash of kecap manis and had it all tossed through noodles. The fridge list actually makes experimental cooking fun. Would I bother putting fennel and grapefruit through my salad otherwise? Probably not.

The best thing is that it has reduced our food waste down to practically zero, and that’s good news for everyone 🙂

fridge list

P.S. Sadly, I didn’t get around to using the aqua faba, although one day I will make those meringues!

P.P.S. I did use the leftover oil from a jar of artichokes, by stirring it through some rice for another tasty lunch (with cherry tomatoes and some other toppings). The pickle liquid also had an extended life, using it to pickle some cucumbers from fresh.