Hi, this is Jean, currently living it up in Sherwood OR. I am debt free, hopefully awaiting my first fall term at Portland State University, and (so far) successfully cohabiting with one amazing boyfriend, Jesse. Being able to be together is simply the BEST THING EVER. Since paying off $36,000 in 3 years I’ve been wondering… what is next? Hopefully, you have too, and that is why I have finally sat my butt down to do some thinking and writing.
Currently my time is my own. There are trips planned, basketball games to watch Jesse in, and a lot of planning and organizing to do… yet, this summer I will have more time to do what I want than I have since the age of 5. It is a golden opportunity, and one I fully intend to use for some much needed personal and community investment.
Without further ado, here are the new goals!
1) Thrive Diet (Vegan Lv 2)
Being debt free means I can up my grocery/toiletries budget to a whole $75/week! It may seem like a lot, but we are changing the quality of food as well. Before, shopping at the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op, I could be assured my food was both local and organic. However, much to my dismay, my co-op in Sacramento really didn’t care too much about farm workers rights, wages, health care, etc. At Our Table in Sherwood OR, all of these factors come into play. 75% or more of all the produce is local organic food grown in OR, and each item grown at the Our Table co-op specifically comes from workers paid Clackamas County minimum wage. That’s $13.74 an hour, well over the federal minimum. This brings kale prices up to $2.50 a bunch, as opposed to $2, and my $5 peanut butter jars up to $15 worth of almond butter. It’s been tricky, but I feel good knowing that I am paying the true cost of sustainable (socially and environmentally) food. Week by week, I am going to post my recipes, and keep you updated on how I do!
On top of that, I want to really invest in my health. People see me and in general they assume I am healthy and fit, but I want to be better than that. Brendan Brazier is my definition of awesome. You just look at him and you know he is a world class athlete. I mean, just look at the guy!
Furthermore, Brazier is the only vegan athlete I know who has not only competed, but thrived without any supplements. WITHOUT ANY SUPPLEMENTS. I have had his book for years, but until now did not have the time or money to really pursue it fully. This summer I am changing that, and following the thrive diet with the goal of becoming the most healthy and physically fit individual I can. Eventually I would love to ditch the supplements altogether, and prove to the world that being a fit, healthy vegan is something everyone can do.
2) Home Greening/Improvement
Tiny house plans have been thrown the the curb due to legal and financial issues, so now I am a green girl in a suburban world. Because of weird and freaky economics, it is far cheaper and financially savvier for Jesse and I to live in this over 1000 square foot home in Sherwood OR than a 500 square foot apartment. Put that into your pipe and smoke it. How the hell did that happen and how do we make this environmentally sustainable? Can we make this environmentally sustainable?
We have no idea, but we plan to find out! Goals I foresee coming into play in the future….
- Zero waste household
- Zero carbon footprint household
- Almost zero use of the car
- Water self sufficiency
- Space efficiency (how do you make an 1000 sq ft house contribute enough to society to justify its enormously large and completely unnecessary mass?)
- Home manufacturing of clothes, produce, soaps, etc.
- Political action to allow Jesse and I to feel comfortable in finally building our tiny
3) Community Involvement
Time to find my place, do some good, and gain knowledge about this place, politics, and how to contribute to the State of Oregon
4) Continuing Education
Just because I am not formally in school doesn’t mean it is time to slack off. Through coursera I want to take at least one course on schedule. Currently that is Sustainability from the University of Illinois, but who knows what is next?
As you can see, I have a lot to work on, but I will keep you all updated every step of the way! I can’t guarantee an original recipe every week currently, but we’ll get there, and I will include the cost of each recipe as well. Even past me could have used some of the things I am learning, about homemade salad dressings, nut burgers, and buckwheat pancakes! New year, still a new-ish vegan, and new goals. It should be an exciting ride!