Update: Organic Lifestyle

Eight months ago, after doing a lot of research I decided to become an informed food consumer. I made a conscious decision to only buy organic produce as well as grass fed meats/dairy, etc. I am happy to say that I still purchase 95% organic or non-gmo foods for my family. It really makes me feel great when I prepare a meal that I know has no antibiotics, no pesticides, and no gmos – especially now that Halley is starting to eat solids.

I’ve had to change the way I shop because the farmer’s market isn’t open during the winter here in NY. So I do most of my shopping at Mrs. Greens. The prices are reasonable and the all the produce is organic. It is also a small store so it’s easy to get what you need and not be distracted a la Fairway or Trader Joe’s.

Do I always eat organic? Unfortunately even in NY, most restaurants don’t serve organic food – so if I’m out or ordering in – it’s most likely not organic. Most of my family/friends don’t eat organic either so if we’re together unless I cooked – it’s most likely not. Does this bother me? A little. I would like to convert my family and friends to organic eating but I have to give it time.

I think the main thing that I have learned from this experience is that we should be eating real food. I definitely wasn’t eating enough vegetables before this. I also think that it opened my eyes to alternative sources of protein (other than meat and eggs) which is more cost effective. I think to a certain degree we all feel better when we do stick to our organic diet.

Have you made any diet or lifestyle changes? What were the results?  Thoughts, comments, share below.

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Empowered Purchasing

It is crazy to think about the amount of money we spend every day. I spent a lot of time not thinking about it until I realized that was a big mistake because having a savings, an emergency fund, etc is important. So I started to save money but now that I am in a position where I haven’t been earning money (maternity leave) I have had to think extra carefully about money and where it is going. Furthermore, who is it supporting?

As someone who is trying to eat healthy and clean, I can’t rightly say that it makes sense for me to spend my grocery money at a big chain like Walmart or Target or even a small chain like Key Food because they don’t have a lot of organic, non-GMO and chemical free options and the options they do have are extra expensive. Although it would certainly be convenient (as these types of stores are everywhere) – if I start shopping with them I will pay more for organic produce and I will be supporting an organization who doesn’t have the same goals as me.

So I have revolutionized the way I shop. Once a week, we stop at a Farmer’s Market for fresh produce and occasionally meat, fish and dairy products. My money supports local farmers who work hard for their money. The produce is less expensive than it would be at any store and it so much better. Seriously, the difference in an onion is absolutely insane – and it’s just an onion – forget about other fruits and veggies. If I can’t make it to the Farmer’s Market or need some stuff that is prepared, I’ll head to Trader Joe’s or Fairway. I won’t buy anything without looking at the ingredients. Here is a reference I use: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/09/27/10-of-the-worst-food-ingredients-to-never-eat-again/ but in general if you don’t know what it is, can’t pronounce it, it is probably not good for you. I know it can be a bit more expensive to shop in the organic aisle but if we keep voting with our dollars, organic goods (no pesticides, not genetically modified, etc.) will become the main stream and the prices will go down.

Next time you make a purchase, think about who and what you are supporting and maybe it will change your mind. I know it has saved me plenty of money just by considering it.

Baby Steps: Switching to an All Organic and Non-GMO Lifestyle

How I plan on going 100% organic and non-GMO: Baby Steps.

Yes, there are plenty of not organic and even processed foods and beauty products in my household but I plan on finishing what I have and replacing them with their organic and non-GMO counterparts as they have been used.

Starting this week, I placed an order with Udder Milk, a creamery co-op for some farm fresh milk, eggs, yogurt, custard and berries. Was it super cheap? No. But I can tell you now that it was completely worth it. Everything we ordered was amazing and delicious and I can’t wait to order from them again. Not only were the products great, but if you aren’t close to a pick up zone or are too preggo/lazy to pick up (like me), they will deliver the goods straight to your house (no delivery fee!). Plus, I totally messed up my first order by accidentally saying I would pick up in Brooklyn (something must have went wrong on my computer that day) and they were able to deliver to me next day after I called them about my issue. It’s nice to deal with people who care about their business and want to make sure the customers needs/wants are met.

Although I frequently go to Farmer’s Markets when I am in the Catskills, I usually don’t go when I am home – which for now is most weekends. I know that the farmer’s market in Union Square can be pricey so I am never inclined to go too often and it’s not very close to where I live. This weekend, I made up my mind that we would go to the Bronxville Farmer’s Market. We were able to get some fresh caught Sea Bass from Montauk and several types of vegetables and fruits- all for very reasonable prices, yes cheaper than buying Organic/Non-GMO in the grocery store!

All in all, I was very happy about my first foray into official organic and non-GMO eating and I am recommending all of you to try it. Obviously, it can be expensive but if you play your cards right you will save money by ordering meats in bulk, buying produce (as much as you can) from a farmer’s market you can really cut down your food budget and still eat clean. Plus the health benefits are tremendous. There’s no need to put excess chemicals into your body when you don’t have to. It’s not the way we were intended to eat.

Now I just need to work on my meal planning and this process will really be taking off!

things that make me happy: natural living (or attempts at it)

Throughout my “adult” life (post – 20) I have made several forays into eating clean, removing chemicals from my life, trying to be more conscious of the environment that I am partially responsible for creating/destroying. Living in New York City there are several chemicals/waste products that come into contact with my body without me even realizing it – poisons from pest removal, harsh cleaning chemicals, subway germs, you name it -we have it etc.

Some of my choices have been voluntary but others were decided for me. For example, two or three years ago my deodorant started causing a rash on my armpits. After years of wearing antiperspirant, my body had started to reject it. I tried several different deodorants/soaps/etc. but much to my dismay, the rash stayed and nothing worked. So I just stopped wearing deodorant. Now I know that sounds kind of gross but I really do not sweat much and honestly no one around me has noticed a difference. I did attempt at making my own deodorant out of shea butter and essential oils which worked fine except I kept forgetting to make it. One day I will share the recipe.

But I feel great. If I sweat a lot from working out or running around too much, I just jump in the shower. But like I said – there really hasn’t been any negative impact to removing antiperspirant/regular deodorant from my life. In fact, the aluminum present in antiperspirant can block your glands and lead to Alzheimer’s, so I feel even better about giving it up.

My most recent decision has been getting rid of traditional shampoo and conditioner – I was inspired by a post on the Hairpin. I was pretty hesitant being that my hair is so greasy if I don’t wash it every day. I also don’t have curly hair like many I know who avoid washing their hair often. Two months into the process and I wash my hair 3 times over 2 weeks! The only products I am using are baking soda, apple cider vinegar, some essential oils and occasionally, coconut oil. My hair still looks good and it does not look greasy after not washing for a day anymore. & I am pregnant and more sweaty/hairy than usual so I can only imagine this will get even better with time.

Now if only I can get in on eating completely clean and organic – but first, I need another raise 😉

Have you tried to remove chemicals from your life? Are you living organic? Thoughts? Suggestions? Comment below.