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Sustainable Living

About Asphyxia

Food and Nutrition

  • Traditional Foods
    My health has dramatically improved after changing my diet for a more traditional way of eating, as advised by Sally Fallon.
  • Food Flower Poster
    Forget the food pyramid! It was developed by the agricultural industry, not by nutritionists. Instead, print this Food Flower poster, which shows a visual guide to choosing nutritious and satisfying traditional foods.
  • Sourdough bread Recipes
    I make delicious sourdough bread in my bread machine - recipes and tips here.
  • Raw Food
    Should we be eating a diet of 100% raw food? Here's what I found by way of "scientific proof".
  • Raw garlic to cure colds & flu
    If you feel a cold or flu coming on, eat a whole clove of raw garlic, three times a day - it works miracles.

« Nourishing Traditions | Main | Making our lives more sustainable »

06 January 2014


Hi! I have only just found your blog and find it inspiring!
About five years ago; I went through my one and only major spending spree. I had just broken up from a long term relationship and was feeling lost. I even got a credit card; the instant gratification aspect. I stopped because my budget was getting out of control and that was making me feel worse as I had always been able to budget well and I was getting scared. I'm still dealing with the residue now.

When I did stop, I really saw how consumption is really tied to emotions like frustration, loneliness, sadness. Families will spend hours on weekends in shopping centres because there is always something to keep kids entertained and safe. And that is precisely what shopping centres offer; a safe, controlled environment to spend time and money. I equate shopping centres to the pokies, for that very reason.
So what did I do? I started living like I did when I was raising my child on the pension... we cooked more, walked more, visited places, helped out at my son's school, had friends over and followed a budget. I also returned to sewing, drawing, writing etc. And just going for a walk instead of 'rewarding' myself with junk was far more beneficial to my well being!
So I would add to the list "what reward are you looking for in your life" and "what is it you are avoiding by filling up with junk".
Great post! :)

Great tips, I love frugal living! Grew up that way so op shopping is like a massive treasure hunt. I would also add to the list to make good use of your library. Don't buy books, borrow them and make use of their free services.

I really enjoy your posts, thank you for sharing your life this way.

I read Karen Kingston's Clear Your Clutter... years ago and apart from inspiring me to clear clutter, it also helped me feel more comfortable with the idea of not bringing new stuff into my world. I agree about avoiding adverts to avoid the pressure to feel that 'getting' is the 'right' way to live.

Fixie: thanks Vikki - I'll have to look up Clear Your Clutter - I always need extra inspiration in this regard since we have such a tiny house.

If you haven't (borrowed from the library) any books by Jared Diamond, I would recommend reading 'Collapse: Why some societies choose to fail'. I think you would enjoy it. I look forward to your post-winter, food preserving update. I have been doing more and more of the same since moving to Tasmania.

Fixie: Great to hear of someone else preserving food - good on you. What are you putting away? I have read Collapse - it was a fantastic book. While the book simply sets out what's happened in the past, it doesn't take a genius to look at where we are now and work out where we are likely to be heading. Yikes!

Dear Fixie-
I have only done easy foods i.e. fruits, partly because I scrounged up the jars mostly from yard sales, and I didn't have any real equipment. I got a huge pot from a Tip shop to do the last boil for the sealing of the jar lids. I bought the lids and am now wondering if I truly have to buy new lids as suggested or if I can re-use the ones I have after sterilizing them.
I am along mostly in winter, and lazy so I eat a lot of simple, fresh food, so the jam, tomatoes, tomato sauces, and fruit have been great throughout winter. I also keep easy items such as herbs, garlic, pine cones to use as fire lighters. I did actual eat fruit from two years ago-some jars were fine, other were suspect. I aspire to grow Wasabi which we use a lot and there is a hydroponic wasabi farm on the island. I also would like to keep bees for the honey, so I had something in bulk to exchange for eggs. Mind you I am no where near your level.
Here's a tip from my aspiring project list-
If you are making unders and what not, keep your scraps to make a rag rug, they are cute and supposedly easy to make. If you don't know what I mean, type a note here and put in some information links.

Fixie: Hi Sajtia,
Wow - very inspiring to read someone else is preserving, scrounging, saving and generally sufficienting. My aunt gave me my great grandmother's bottling kit, and with it came some old (rusty!) lids that my aunt had used over and over again. She told me it was fine to reuse them - you just chuck them out when they don't seal properly. Mind you, everywhere commercial says you MUST replace every year. From what I understand, the purpose of the lid is to seal the jar and make it airtight. As long as it fulfils that function (and it's blatantly obvious if it doesn't cos the lid doesn't stick), then it seems ok to me. Since some of my lids are rusty, I'm very careful to keep the jars upright, so the fruit doesn't touch the rust. This is just intuition - I've no idea if it makes a difference in a scientific sense. So if you do something similar, I can't see why reusing lids is a problem. And less waste going to the tip, less wasted resources to manufacture new ones, has to be good.

Hi There.
I just discovered your blog today through a friend's post on facebook. I've really enjoyed reading so far. Your posts on sustainable living are very inspiring. I can relate to many points and I think there's room for improvement for me also.
Loved your knitted singlet! well done spinning rabbit fur!


Hi Asphyxia! How delightful to reacquaint myself with your awesome talent by starting my 2014 volunteering project at "Streets Alive" in Launceston Tasmania:) The co ordinanator of this excellent community supported arts body mentioned you and I remembered you moved into puppetry a few years ago? And THEN I remembered I used to live next door to you in Northcote! Wow! WHAT an amazing artist and inspiration you are.
O sustainable living and not buying new stuff so much -I am inspired to get into the op shops a bit more and definately to buy from our local greengrocer, over Coles, and local small goods shop as well. I now have two young children so staying away from shops completely will be a bit hard but I agree that avoiding ads or shopping centres will help heaps. Thanks for the great tip on nipping in the bud 'desires' and changing the subject so to speak in my own head! xxx Sylvie

Hi Sylvie, wow how great to hear from you and what you are doing these days! Two little kids too.. Do you know, I reckon it's been really good for my son that we don't spend much time in shops.. less consumerist influence on him too.. lovely your kids will get exposed to this too. Thanks so much for saying hello and also for all your lovely comments. Goodluck with the sustainable living, op shopping and buying local! Love, Asphyxia xx

Fabulous! :-) Yes, inbuilt obsolescence is downright evil... it's a concept that belongs in the same bucket as "collateral damage"... You mentioned "Affluenza", which brought back some reading memories. I read Alain de Botton's "Status Anxiety" at around the same time, and found these two books complemented each other well. Have you caught that one? Alain de Botton is an engaging writer and thinker. Another interesting one, originally from my husband's library, is Jim McKnight's "A Procrastinator's Guide to Simple Living." I think you're excellent at condensing big clusters of issues around sustainable living and other important topics into succinct posts and articles, and at tracking down and interpreting relevant research. We've just read "Swallow This" and were somewhat disappointed with the knowledge gaps and misapprehensions of an author who is touted as one of "the" investigative food journalists, which kind of spoilt her book for us... and I was so impressed by what I've seen on your nutrition pages, which is far superior to many published books on the subject, and obviously many blogs... this site is now bookmarked amongst my favourite "Good Reads" - and I only discovered it today! :-)

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