Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sun Tea and Sexist Shoes

This picture is from April when I made our first sun tea of the season. Our preferred drink around here is water, but it is nice to have cold herbal tea on the really hot days. I'm also trying to work through our stash of organic herbal teas so I can order some tea from an old high school friend who just opened her own business, but it is somewhat slow going. We have a lot of tea and I'm very sensitive to caffeine. Even decaffeinated tea effects me so I have to drink it moderation. I've also read that tea can block the absorption of some nutrients, specifically iron, so I try to only drink tea between meals. It is a nice once in a while treat though. Thanks to Jen for the great gallon glass container which is perfect for making tea. I fell in love with these containers and now store some of my bulk foods in them (thanks to Thomasanna for picking up a case on one of her many trips to Amish country). Usually, we store our bulk nuts in recycled glass containers of all sizes (tahini, jelly, nut butter, etc. containers we've used and then cleaned out), but it is nice to have some gallon containers for things like rice and whole wheat pasta. I put 20 pounds of brown rice in four of the gallon jars.

When Rob and I first started dating, I was in my early twenties and he was in his early thirties. I knew pretty early on in our relationship that Rob was the "the one". After more engagements than I want to admit, I was really sure this guy was a soul mate and different from the others. But, he wore these ridiculously ugly shoes. I loved clothes and shoes back then and in my early twenties naivety I was sure I could convince my new beau to give up his Birkenstock clogs. I mean really. Instead a year later, maybe less, I was sporting my own Birk sandals. I fell in love with non-leather vegan Birks and wore them for years. Then I got pregnant, had a baby and started babywearing (carrying extra weight). I don't know if the pregnancy has something to do with it, but my feet changed and I started having heal spurs. I tried some exercises and did some reading and decided it was time for different shoes. I bought non-leather Keens and I was in love. No more heal spurs and my feet had never been happier. I even wore them in the winter so it was no surprise to me when a couple weeks ago my original Keen shoes were on their last legs. I stopped into Heal to Toe (a local shoe store where I've bought shoes for years) while I was out grocery shopping with the kids the other day. I went in looking specifically for a pair of Keens and immediately I saw a pair ready for clipless pedals for cycling. I was sold! Or so I thought. I talked to the sales clerk and asked if they had the shoe in women's sizes. She checked in the back, she checked in the catalog. No, they only sell the commuter shoe in men's sizes. What????!!! Seriously? They don't expect women to be on their bikes? Grrrr. I was willing to give them another chance and asked if they have a men's size small enough to fit my women's size seven feet. No dice.
I was about to walk away sad and shoeless, then I glanced over to the Earth Shoes. I've always wanted to try out Earth shoes, but at the point when I was experiencing the heel spurs, I was told that Earth shoes would not help. I like the fact that they label their vegan shoes as "vegan" and the foot bed has always seemed interesting to me. So, I tried some on and that was it. I was in love. They felt perfect for my feet and I knew I would happily walk many miles for several years in these shoes. They are not cheap, but I walk a lot and after many pre-Rob years of being a slave to fashion and wearing heals to work and going for the cute shoes and comfort be damned, I am a big advocate of being kind to one's feet. So far, I am an Earth convert, but I would still love to see Keen get with the program and offer cycling commuter shoes for women. I did find this review of the Keen SPD Commuter Sandal so maybe they don't have all the kinks worked out yet.I was never a foot model for obvious reasons, but it is tough to take a good picture of one's own feet. I pretty much gave up nail polish (I loved nail polish!) before Rob and I met when I found out how toxic it can be (as many cosmetics), but I bought some No Miss nail polish from our friends at Pangea when we lived in Maryland pre-kids. I just never find time to do my nails, but my new shoes gave me a good excuse. This color is Capitiva Coffee. Dema was very impressed with my toes, "Your feet are beautiful, mom! Can you color mine too?" so I might have to treat myself more often. Here's to healthy, comfortable, happy, and busy feet!


Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

I heart sun tea!! And your shoes are awesome!!! Just noticed today that my neighbor wears Keens. Tres cool.

Sven said...

If you enjoy tea... try Roobois - "Red Bush" tea. 100% herbal and no caffeine. Best brand I have found is Yogi Tea. :-)

E. Svendsen said...

I loved Keens for a while but then I started have foot/back problems and I decided to switch to Earth shoes and Chacos...and (I'm really trying not to sound like a commercial here...)all the problems went away. I think Keens just don't have enough arch support for me. Earth shoes rock! And Chaco is great and they make a leather free shoe now, too that you may want to check out.

Rebecca said...

Love Earth Shoes! I work for a UK distributor and i have a few pairs! So glad you love them too! They offer such enviable comfort - they helped me to lose some weight too! Bonus!

The good thing about them is you can actually go back to the days when you were fashion obsessed! Theres a huge collection of Earth and although amazingly comfy they come in some lovely styles! :-)

I'm also intrigues about this sun tea? how do you make it?!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh...I love this post! I'm de-lurking here to say hello and tell you that your tea looks refreshing, your earth shoes are awesome (and I am going to browse for my own pair!), and your painted toes are adorable :)

VeganLinda said...

Lisa, Thanks! My kids and hubby are still in their Keens. They are cool!

Sven, I love Yogi tea as well. Even herbal teas effect me...I'm weird. :-) I will try Roobois, we don't have any right now and it is one of Rob's faves.

E., I will take a look at Chaco. I am super happy with my Earth shoes, but wish Heal to Toe had more of a selection of vegan ones.

Rebecca, Thanks for the link! I just fill up the glass jar with cold water and put four or five tea bags on the top, screw on the lid, and set in the sun for several hours. Then I bring it in and keep it the refrigerator.

Hey Sheri, thanks for de-lurking and the nice comment!