evolution of the cityhippyfarmgirl

Some people launch themselves into an entirely different lifestyle, and some slowly evolve. I think, I’ve been more the evolving kind.

Some things have been a conscious decision to change based on greener ideals and others a mere progression, and an almost surprisingly sneaky shift.

While I would definitely say my roots were always deeply imbedded in a less mainstream society, I can still look back on the last ten years and track how my life and my growing family’s life has changed to a lifestyle less within our consumer conventional one. Each new corner that we have come to, has been met with choices. Choices, that I’m incredibly grateful for them being there. Choices that have allowed us to grow, change and evolve.

As I’ve gotten older my values have changed, my priorities shifted. With a third baby now, while in some ways this is the busiest I have ever been, in other ways things also feel a whole lot more simplified as well. Things could certainly get more simplified and I still really hope that we can do that down the track, but for the moment… I’m happy with how things have evolved.

These days, my life changes are heavily influenced by my children. Those moments when I’m watching my kids run around outside, without restrictions, testing their own boundaries and easing themselves out of their own comfort zones. It’s incredibly fulfilling. Watching them do it with a smile on their face fills me with gratitude for that moment and their ability to do it. That’s their evolution. Watching them, encourages me to strive for more.

While we live in a flat, I can’t easily say run out the back and go exploring kids, we do have to make an effort.

To make that extra effort to visit the park with the jungle trees to explore in. To stay that bit longer playing in the water, slowly gaining the confidence that was hiding from them before. To take the time to read and explain something that could easily be ignored and diverted by switching the tv on. It doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, it feels so worthwhile.

Food has been another change over time. The way I have bought, the things I have cooked, the mentality behind what I’m eating, and even those old taste buds. I now eat raw celery, Mr Chocolate eats jam, Monkey boy eats lettuce and Little Monkey eats meat.

Evolution of a family of taste buds.

Mr Chocolate and I were looking at a yogurt tub a while a go. A 99% fat free fruit yogurt. Once I would have bought it without hesitation and eaten it with a whole bundle of enjoyment. Now, all the tub got was raised eyebrows and mutters of I don’t think so. Yes, it was an Australian company, (that’s a tick) and that’s about all it had going for it. Anything stating it’s ‘low in fat’ immediately sets alarm bells off for me now. It still tastes good so how is that taste in there if there is no fat?

Sugar. A whole bundle of it. Five teaspoons of it in 150g to be exact. Mix that in with a whole bunch of thickeners (maize, tapioca, gelatine) and you’ve got yourself a low fat yogurt. 250mls of lemonade has less sugar than that little tub of yogurt. Now if you are a long time reader of this blog you will know I clearly don’t have issues with using sugar. I love baking sugary things. What I do have a problem with is sneaky sugar. Things that you wouldn’t automatically presume would have a whole bunch of sugar in, like the low fat yogurt. I like my sugar to be upfront, with a little tah-daaah action if you please.

So no, I’m not buying that low fat yogurt tub. While I once would have, now I don’t and I can make my own. Then if I feel it needs a little sugar, all I have to do is put my own amount in (in the form of home made jam.)

To look back on other ways I’ve changed both unconsciously and consciously, there have been a lot. For the most part I think they have all been for the better, and I’m looking forward to the continuing evolution of this city hippy farm girl.

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I’m interested. What greener/slower/less mainstream changes for you have come about- that have been for the better? Do you feel differently to 5 years ago? Was it a dramatic shift in lifestyle values or a slow progression? Where do you see yourself sitting in your society?

Or simply, how have you evolved?

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33 thoughts on “evolution of the cityhippyfarmgirl

  1. Great post Brydie! Reading it made me realised that I’m slowly evolving too, especially in respect to the foods that I will (and will not) put into my body. I’m still far from perfect, but I read labels and strive to eat “real” food wherever possible (I wouldn’t buy that yoghurt either)! I can honestly credit your blog with influencing my thinking for the better, so I’d like to say well done, and a big thank you from me x

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  2. It is unbelievable to me that lemonade has less calories than fat-free yoghurt. It just goes to show you can’t believe the promotional labels on products and we must all do our own research. As Jamie Oliver says, the more food looks like food, the better it is for you xx

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  3. For me, 5 years seems like a lifetime ago. I had one baby, and so much to learn about actually being a mother. The caring, loving and adoring part I had down pat, but the where do I see us in 5 years was another story. It has been a gradual change we have been making to ensure WE give our kids the values, lifestyle and diet WE believe are important, not what others do. Like you I am still learning and loving it at the same time…….I loved this post 🙂

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  4. What a lovely post. My evolutions are ongoing, and sometimes slow, but when I think back to 5 years ago there are a lot of changes. I share the yoghurt one in particular! I think the evolutions will always be ongoing really, because if we don’t change life might get a bit boring. But yes – remembering to notice the choices, that makes all the difference.

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  5. Food has definitely changed in our lifestyle. Diabetes and heart disease made that change for us- lower carbs and less fat and salt in our diets. And the accumulation of stuff has been curtailed. Where do I put all this stuff- and why do I want it?
    We have put out priorities on our children (and now on our grandchildren) and our activities and money goes into travel and relationship building.
    And then there is technology. Big life change there- considering I never used a computer before I started blogging….!
    I’ve enjoyed hearing a lot of your decision making – especially toward a more green and local lifestyle. I hear it from my kids, too. And it has influenced MY decisions as well. Thanks, Brydie!

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  6. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how I have changed over the past 5 years – I am pleased we have a compost bin and I am baking more bread but I have also changed in other ways. I sort of watched the titanic miniseries on the tv tonight but it was so hard to watch such terrible things happening to those people. Seeing bad things happen is harder as I get older and I guess that then reflects back on my approach to the environment. I love hearing about yours and I just love your photo – I think it really needs to go on your blog banner because it is brilliant!

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  7. I think being able to have a garden (or what passes for a garden in our terms!) has brought us serious change – we’ve learned which things to grow (ease, cost, productivity, etc.) and which to avoid. It really is nice when planning a meal to think first of what we have on hand in the garden, or in the freezer, rather than what to go buy at the market.

    My favs: green onions, garlic, all sorts of greens, lettuce, baby beets, and of course, summer tomatoes.

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    • Doc, I think thats wonderful being able to choose what you are eating based on your garden goodies. Seasonal, local, no food miles, fresh, tastes delicious, organic, how could your own garden produce taste anything but awesome.

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  8. We’ve changed what and how we eat pretty drastically over the last 5 years. We grow as much as we can, which isn’t much but helps. We belong to a CSA and have made a conscious effort to eat local, sustainable and organic as much as possible. We’ve cut out 70% of processed foods and those used are only with the fewest additives possible and no salt. We recycle and compost, and eat mostly at home. We buy mostly “recycled” items for use from thrift stores instead of automatically going to the big box stores, and we walk rather than drive whenever possible. Great post!

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  9. another lovely post brydie..it’s great to hear about your evolution..

    the closer i live to my values the happier i am and certain changes i’ve made in the last five years have enabled me to live more of the life i want..making that happen was the hard part..now i am grateful..very grateful..x

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  10. not many people realize that low fat = high sugar. healthy eating makes a world of difference – my husband is the fittest of his friends and it has to do with our diet, and our lifestyle of exercising 🙂

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  11. Thanks for the heads-up on low fat yogurt, Brydie.. I hadn’t checked the labels… although I have and do make my own yogurt, we pick some up when we’re between batches. I think food blogging/writing has been the most significant transformation for me in terms of how I view our meals. I’ve discovered through reading so many blogs, there are special dishes that take extra time to prepare.. but it’s so easy now to make an every day dinner just a little bit nicer by changing up a few ingredients. Food just isn’t boring any more:)

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  12. Brilliant post! We are slowly evolving…constantly learning…always achieving but sometimes it is two steps forward and one back. Always though at the back of my mind I know where I want to be…so that keeps me going forward.

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  13. I don’t think living a greener life really hit me until we moved to where we are now..about 6 years ago. Before that we were in an outer country-ish suburb, I felt like I was trying to conform to other peoples’ expectations and fit in to the ways of consumerism that everyone was so focused on. Once we moved to our current property I felt like I had come home (corny I know). It makes a difference I think, living around like minded people. I love that I can pick up my kids in my old gardening clothes and no one raises an eyebrow. Or talk manure varieties over coffee instead of artificial nails and hair foils.

    Connecting with more like minded people through blogs is a bonus and cements that feeling that we are on the right track. Plus being connected to food just feels SO right – whether it is from our own property, from a friends garden or a local grower. If it makes my heart sing, I know it’s good.

    Great post, Brydie. Your kids are so very lucky to have you as their mum.

    PS – I’d put the yoghurt tub back too with a big “Pffft!”. 🙂

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  14. Oooh, I hate that sneaky sugar too. But I find it sometime impossible to find yogurt that isn’t ‘low fat’. I’ve always wanted to have a go at making my own, so I’ll definitely have a look at that link.

    As for changing, it’s been a slow one for me too and one that is continuing. Having said that I did talk my husband into ripping out our entire back garden apart from one small section for the kids to play in and converted the lot to a productive vegetable garden. It was a spur of the moment weekend whim, but it has been the best thing we ever did. We spend so much more time individually and as a family in the garden now and it’s lovely.

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  15. What a lovely post for a Sunday morning! I totally know where you are coming from. My parents tried to be conscious of these things when I was young, and I think it was kind of ingrained in my head. But then when we got older and more rushed the wholesomeness of family homemade meals was sometimes pushed aside for a frozen pizza or such. When I went to uni I was pretty good, but still found I was drawn to some simple and more processed foods. But in the last few years I find myself sticking to the outer rim of the grocery store (veg, fruit, dairy, meat), making a lot more things from scratch, making informed decisions to buy from local, organic, small farmers and producers. I’ve even started growing some of my own – and when I used to think it was impossible to grow peppers from seed I have a few sprouts happily reaching toward the light in my sun room.

    And as we prepare to welcome this little one into the world I hope to spend lots of time with them growing, preparing and cooking our own foods 🙂 And pass on a little what of I have learned, and am still learning!

    I hope you’re having a lovely day 🙂

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  16. Fantastic post I’m glad my search led me here! Also great to read a fellow Aussie’s blog, it means I know what the ingredients in the recipes are lol.
    I want to slow down NOW! Short of packing up sticks and moving to a homestead I’m not sure how people manage to completely change their lives quickly (and more power to them), so I am doing it step by step. I’m finding that I have too many goals I try to achieve simultaneously – I thought slowing down would be so easy, it’s exactly what I want! Anyway, I’m glad I have your blog to read now, I’m a follower now! x

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