If you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen some of the adventure that is me going organic. It’s not easy, especially with 2 toddlers, and our pantry isn’t completely organi-fied (making up words) yet. I’m a little too practical to just throw everything out, so we still have some non-organic peanut butter left over, and oil and some random crackers around that we’ll use before we’re fully converted. So at the moment, we’re Organic-ish. 🙂
But WHY am I doing this?! Ugh. The short answer is : It’s been coming for a long time.
My mother suffered two completely unrelated cancers, the second of which(stomach cancer) took her life. I’m diabetic and I believe that food is powerful. The only part of diabetes that I can really control is the food I put in my body. And of course, I’ve watched a documentary or two in my day. I just had to make my health (and my kids’ health) a top priority. And after lots of research, I decided that the GMOs just aren’t for me. I want them out. I don’t want Monsanto to own me or run the world. Despite what they say I do believe it’s possible to feed the world with organic farming. It is time for me to vote with my dollars.
Overall, making a meal totally organic is not too difficult as long as I’ve done some meal planning, but it is complicated by the fact that I am not trying to be vegan, or vegetarian, or gluten free. I don’t mind eating that way every once in a while, but I love carbs. I love snacks. I love veggies too, but I can’t have all my meals be all veggie all the time. I need the bread and meat balance. I love to cook, and organic veggies are easy enough to find, it’s all the other things that can prove difficult. Organic meats are expensive and harder to find, and bread or grain based products are also tougher to find with organic whole wheat, etc. For the most part, packaged goods have had to go because if they are organic, they’re crazy expensive. If I’m having a biscuit craving, I’m better off just making it myself. But I also have 2 little girls. They just don’t go for veggie or fruit all the time.
So it’s a bumpy road for now. For the most part, the girls snacks are where I struggle the most. Having to exert more effort on snack planning, as opposed to just grabbing a bag of goldfish or cereal for them when we’ll be out running errands is still tough. And to buy organic versions of those things is not cost effective. And I have one still in diapers, so let’s face it, we can’t eat raisins all the time!
But every time I’m tempted to think “this is impossible” and throw in the towel, I remember my trip to Blackberry Farm. The first place I recognized organic eating as exciting, inspiring, and bountiful—and not a complete hassle. Eating organic can be comforting, and beautiful and fun! Even for kids. Below are a few images of the trip that changed my way of thinking. Below I’ll list some other links that have helped me in this journey.
So gorgeous! Those heirloom tomatoes came from 100 year old seeds. The thing is, I didn’t even think I liked tomatoes, until I ate that one.
But then reality sets in and the sad fact is, I don’t live on Blackberry Farm..very sad fact indeed. So I have to do some leg work to get the organic goods.
It’s hard to pass up 2 regular grocery stores on my way to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Keep in mind I do this with two toddlers in the car, so it’s like “cry myself to sleep” hard. It’s even harder to use up precious time out of my week to go to more than one store to get what we need. I’m not gonna buy paper products or bottled water at the organic stores–doesn’t make sense. We get things like diapers delivered, which helps, but I still feel like I spend half my week either in the store, or driving to/home from it! Not exactly the organic dream.
As tough as it can be, the payoff is worth it. The food is better, we feel better, and my blood sugars way way down. Always a plus.
Here are a couple of things that helped me out:
1. Blackberry Farm : I can’t say enough about the magic of this place. Go if you can. If you can’t, read about their 100 year garden and get inspired by their website.
2. 100 days of Real food : great resource for real food recipes, especially ideas to keep kids happy. Not everything here is organic, but it’s easy enough to get a recipe or meal plan or snack idea and make it organic.
3. Wildly Affordable Organic : a great cookbook and meal planning resource. One of the biggest obstacles to eating organic can be the cost. This book gives super easy to execute recipes and meal plans on a food stamp budget.
Especially if you’re struggling with blood sugars, I strongly encourage you to make a move towards organic eating. And definitely cut out all the artificial sweeteners if you haven’t already. No diet drinks, sodas, sports drinks–get it out of your system. I was SHOCKED at how my blood sugars dropped just by doing that one thing. But more on that later.
And if you’re looking for more pics from Blackberry Farm (a.k.a. Heaven On Earth), just head over to my photography site! I promise you will fall in love with this place. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll run home to plant a garden and eat organic forever and ever.
If you’re not as emotional as me, and prefer more scientific evidence, here is some of that as well.