Posted by: aauntiem | March 17, 2010

Lightened-Up Reuben and Other Thoughts on Going Green

As anyone who has ever met me can tell you, and as you have probably witnessed via my Gator Tale, I am pretty much challenged by coordination, balance, and all things that involve walking without bumping into trees, doors, or walls. This proves problematic for several reasons, some of which are really obvious.

One reason my utter lack of coordination continues to irk me year in and year out stems from the fact that I live in a place where the entire culture is based on outdoor living. I mean, we have discount clothing stores that run commercials about the Florida Lifestyle. In movies (and sadly in real life) Floridians are represented by flamingo and palm tree clothing.

(Face have been blurred to protect the reputation of the model.)

Most adults I know have at least one bathroom decorated with a seashell theme. Also, here your patio is part of your decorating scheme and everyone owns a grill (this is true even of college students that don’t have a proper couch).

And, as a good Floridian I am all about the idea of being outdoors. It’s gorgeous. I even love the feel of getting into a car after it has been baking in the 97° heat all day, something about that warm feel all over makes me feel at home. True to Floridian form, I love the water and could swim, fish, and boat the heck out of any day (I have a theory about how the water’s movement really counteracts and works to restore my equilibrium). I also love to garden. Coordination challenges withstanding, then, I could pass for one of my peers.


See, I have this other little problem.

Did I mention that most of the women I know and a good handful of the men are politically connected to environmental justice, sustainability, ecofeminism, and otherwise the going green movement? Did I mention that I have read all about it, in depth reading actually—scholarly stuff, and watched several films?

I am not green.

There. I said it.

I don’t recycle.

I don’t shop with my green bags (I always forget them at home or in the car).

I commute 20.50 miles to work, in a separate car from my husband, who works less than five miles away.

My house is 1700 sq. foot for Picasso, me, and the dog.

I buy processed food that comes in cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam—it doesn’t matter. I think I even buy fruit in tha netting stuff.

I buy organic but my organic apple juice comes in a plastic wrap.

I don’t use homemade cleaning products (like vinegar). They smell and I feel like they don’t clean anything.

I shop at Big Bad Walmart cuse it is cheaper.

I think driving to the farmer’s id tedious because they never have the fruit I want, which is probably out of season or in Brazil.

I drink starbucks at least once a week and throw away the cup.

I routinely go to rallies that damn Mother Earth (no, I don’t. I am kidding)

I forget to recycle my diet coke cans even when my Rush Limbaughesk office mate reminds me

I purchased a car that has 34 miles to the gallon because it had everything to do with my wallet and forgot to think of the planet.

I own lots of antiques and vintage dishes because I dig the groovy patterns.

I use the extra-heated wash setting on my dishwasher.

I eat meat, usually at every dinner and sometimes lunch.

We run multiple computer and techno gadgets simultaneously.

I go through at least a roll of paper towels a week. That doesn’t include the ones at the office.

I don’t make compost, opting instead to buy soil and fertilizer (its organic does that count?)

I throw food away.

My ecological footprint says that we need SIX

planets to house people like me.

I am pretty sure I could keep going. But, I won’t. If I go any further you will never like me and I want you to still be my friend.

I may have already lost some of you.

The truth is that despite all of what and who I know I am just not green.

Why? Why? Why? You are asking as you shake your head, the mouse, beat the monitor, or click away.

I could make up some excuses for you. I could send you to some sites that argue that we aren’t actually doing anything to the earth and it is hubris to think otherwise. I could apologize.

I am not going to do any of those things. I don’t have any explanations.

I believe that we should be looking, working, living, towards a more sustainable future. I believe that we should be able to eat without cruelty, without hormones, and with natural ingredients. I believe we should consume less. Our stuff does not make us happier. I do believe in all these truths.

I just don’t do it.

I think I need to see someone about it.

I think my consumption is a real problem.

I think I just outed myself and the people I know are gonna lecture me about this.

This is getting awkward.

Does This help?Or This?  OR This.  Possibly This?

I see that did not help.

Real awkward.

I think I’ll just go eat my lunch…

Turkey Reuben Serves:  1

5 Weight Watchers Points


2 oz turkey breast lunch meat or Ham (use your head here people and get a lot of bang for your buck)

2 slice(s) rye bread

1/2 Tbsp Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard or honey mustard (too sweeten this up)

1/4 cup sauerkraut, drained

½ to 1 tbsp of Kraft Free Thousand Island Salad Dressing

1 slice of Kraft Free Singles Artificially Flavored Swiss Cheese, you can use real Swiss here but a reduced fat brand, like Land of Lake, will increase the sandwich to 7 points

3 second spray(s) PAM Cooking Spray

1-2 serving(s) butter spray or olive oil spray

First open up a jar or can of sauerkraut. Rinse and Drain the sauerkraut, letting it rest on a plate covered with paper towel or a kitchen towel. Set aside.

Heat an oiled skillet on medium high. While the skillet heats up, spread the yummy-yummy mustard on one side of one slice of (trip much) bread.

Now, spray the other side of your mustarded (it should be a word) piece of bread with margarine spray or olive oil spray and lay in pan, butter side down.

Next, Place your turkey on your mustarded (its kinda catchy, hugh) bread. Add a slice of cheese and sauerkraut. Drizzle with thousand island (or pour it on, I’ll let you decide what you need here).

Spray remaining slice of bread with butter spray. Place bread on your glorious sandwich, butter side up this time. Mash it down. Use another pan and place it on top of the sandwich, this works best.

Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Careful not to let it burn.

Remove the mashing pan (very technical term people). With a spatchula, scoop underneath the sandwich while using your free hand to hold the sandwich in place.  Flip the whole thing, watch it– this gets messy. Brown the other side and make sure your Swiss had become all melty. Then take your deli-style sandwich from the pan and cut in half. Serves one sandwich each. I eat mine with a giant pickle and diet lemonade.

Or, half it for 2. 5 pts instead and eat it with pickles and some chips (yum.). Chew on this as I try to chew over how I am gonna make right with Mother Earth.

Happy Saint Patty’s Day,




  1. Too funny! I am pretty much as non-green as you are, although I do remember my green grocery bags (mainly because I get a discount on each one I bring to the store)!

  2. Hahaha. I don’t blame you to be honest, it can be pretty tough to be green! Changing lifestyles is so hard to do sometimes!! I’ve personally been working on mine, managed get it down from 4 planets to 1.5! So tedious though. Thanks for sharing!

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