Eating Organic

by dee on July 26, 2010

organic fruit and vegetables
I’m not sure when it started exactly. It has been in the back of my mind for years, but only recently it seems that it is being thrown at me from every direction. I’ve read magazine articles, blogs, stared at recipes, and always am left wondering, “How do they do it?” I’ve tried to diet and failed miserably, over and over again. Shortly after Zach was born, Hubby and I both did Weight Watchers and lost the pounds eating low-fat or no-fat, sugar free, chemical filled crap. Then, after depriving ourselves for so long, we started eating regular food again and put those pounds right back on. Not exactly the goal we had in mind.

So these things have been rattling around in my head for a while. Some posts by Cagey got me thinking about food dyes and their effects on behavior. I even ordered some books (which I have yet to find the time to read) to read up on this topic.  Then there was the whole Food Revelation thing that convinced me my kids will be taking their lunches to school instead of buying the over-priced, processed school lunches.  Then Andreanna started writing about her Primal lifestyle and posted some amazing progress photos.  And then one night when I found myself home alone I watched Food, Inc. on Netflix.  The next morning, I opened up my inbox to find a Groupon opportunity for a discounted box of fruits/veggies from Fresh Connect, a local delivery service for organic and locally grown produce, meat, and dairy.

The wheels started turning.

I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to eat healthier foods.  I’ve wanted to switch to locally grown produce.  I’ve wanted to cut the junk out of my diet and eat real foods.  But there’s always been something holding me back – time, money, convenience.  Those are the big ones.  We’re a busy family, with two parents who work outside of the home full-time.  Our normal grocery shopping consists of a huge trip about once a month to stock up the freezer and a few quick runs for milk, bread, and other perishables in between.  I’ve never been able to carve out the time to go to a local farmer’s market, mainly because it would require me getting up way too early on a Saturday morning to go.  We spend a lot of money on food, and the thought of spending even more to buy organic at the grocery store makes me want to cling to my debit card.  And then there’s the convenience factor.  We want quick meals.  We don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.  Plus, we have very impatient kids who want food on the table the minute we walk in the door after a long day at day care.

There’s always an excuse.

You know what though?  I’m tired of the excuses.  I finally decided that I’m going to throw all the excuses out and just do it.  I brought it up to Hubby and told him about Fresh Connect and how I’d like to start getting some of our produce and maybe meat from them.  I expected him to say I was being ridiculous, but he didn’t.  He balked a little at the prices, but eventually agreed that it was a good idea to try it out.  I purchased the Groupon for our first box of fruit/veggies.  During my next trip to the grocery store, I picked up locally farmed, hormone-free, milk for my daughter (she’s the only milk drinker of the family).

We received our first Fresh Connect box Friday night full of delicious fruits and veggies – plenty to last us at least a week or two.  There were a lot of items that I just don’t ever buy at the store.  I’m looking forward to getting creative in the kitchen and finding ways to use them.  My kids were impressed when they saw the carrots with the green part still attached.  Evie devoured the grapes within minutes of us opening the box.  We started planning meals for the week based on fresh vegetables, not the boxes residing in our freezer.  We picked up a few more items that we would need at the grocery store to round out our menu, some of it organic, some of it not.

I’m not at all ready for a Primal diet and I know there will still be a lot of non-organic items in our kitchen, but I like the fact that we’re starting to make a change.  My children seem to think they cannot survive without bologna and cheese sandwiches, but at least I can start pairing it with carrots and celery or an apple instead of chips.

The cost may still be a bit prohibitive for us, especially through the winter months, but I’m really hoping we can make this work.  Since I started running in preparation for the Race for the Cure I’ve put a lot more thought into what I’m putting into my body.  I’m drinking a lot more water.  I’m snacking on nuts, veggies, and cheese instead of chocolate.  I’m bringing my lunch to work instead of going through the McDonald’s drive-thru.  This is the next logical step and I finally feel like I’m ready for the challenge.

*photo by val’s photos on flickr

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1 Donna W July 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Very interesting! I can’t say any of my garden produce is organic; bugs wouldn’t let me have any of it if I didn’t use sprays and powders. The milk from my Jersey cow, though, would be almost organic. We’re having to use milk from the store right now because I dried the cow up so she could devote her energy to the calf growing inside her. Before August ends, we should have our good Jersey milk again.

2 Jenny McE July 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm

We started this in May too- I am not going to get picky about organic vs regular but we try to pick a new and different veggie each week when we get groceries to try a new dish with. We’ve made some spectacular things!
The kids were going through a really fussy phase and it took about a month to break them of it but they sit down every night and eat whatever I make like it’s going out of style… so basically I’m saying ‘Keep at it!’

So far my personal faves are roasted veggies drizzled in balsamic dressing, German red cabbage (a sweet and sour thing- SO GOOD!) and baking an entire head of cauliflower YUM!

3 dee
Twitter: deew27
July 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Jen – How do you bake the cauliflower? We have an entire head and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it. Hubby is not a fan of cauliflower, but I keep telling him we’ll figure out something he will like. I’m happy just to dip it in some ranch dressing.

4 Donna W July 26, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Dee, cauliflower is wonderful with a cheese sauce; if your husband likes cheese, I’ll bet he’d like cauliflower with cheese.

5 cagey July 27, 2010 at 7:45 am

Great post!

We LOVE roasted cauliflower – I chop up an entire head, mix in kosher salt (a tsp or two?), garlic (a tbsp or two?) and olive oil (enough to coat – a few tbsp?) Bake at 400-425 for about 45 minutes. It actually is good when it begins the burn, that caramelizes all the natural sugars in the cauliflower. I let several pieces get quite black. YUM. For a cheater meal, I will buy a rotisserie chicken to serve and dinner is done.

6 dee
Twitter: deew27
July 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Oh, that sounds good too! I love cauliflower, it’s just Hubby that needs the convincing. I’m determined not to let any of these veggies go to waste.

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