Over the past few years, I’ve made a lot of changes to my lifestyle. After my second son was born, I got stuck in a cycle of inactivity, exhaustion, Mountain Dew and weight gain. Finally, I reached my tipping point and decided that major changes needed to happen. So, I tried running, since I didn’t have time (or desire) to fit trips to the gym in my schedule (I had tried once and failed), and ended up loving it. I also started cutting out the Mountain Dew since it was only adding empty calories to my diet. However, one of the other big changes I made was switching to a predominantly organic diet.
Actually, from the outset it was more of my wife’s idea than mine. For years I had been eating more out of convenience and indulgence more than anything else. “You know what sounds good tonight? PIZZA!” or “We haven’t had Chinese in a while…” became far too common utterances. So, since I was getting tired of buying bigger pants, a radical change like going organic was worth a shot. Besides, I knew I was eating a lot of processed junk that wasn’t helping, so cutting out all the preservatives sounded like a good idea.
However, it also sounded like a pain in the butt. Eating organic for us meant getting a farm share and not having control over the contents, having a more limited selection at the grocery store, and having to cook almost every night (and I enjoy cooking!). It also sounded expensive, thinking about my much disdained Whole Foods. So, I was willing to give it a shot, but I had my doubts.
Why It Works For Us
It didn’t take long for me to change my mind. I started seeing more weight come off and noticeably more energy and focus at work. I also got to make new foods and find creative ways to prepare the foods we got. Plus, the more we shopped, the less restrictive I found our options. Besides our local food Co-Op, the options available at Trader Joe’s, Target and even Costco were growing and continue to expand even more and were very affordable.
Besides that, we’ve also gotten to know many of our local vendors through Farmer’s Markets and other venues, which has lead to the discovery of other great foods. Honestly, some of the local beef and pork that we have purchases (by the eighth, quarter or half) has been some of the best I’ve prepared.
And, honestly, it’s taken away a lot of the desire to go out or even grab that quick fast food meal. Why? Because 1) I more consciously realize how bad it is for me and 2) realize how poor the quality of the food is at many restaurants (when you eat a lot less salt and oils, they really stand out).
Lastly, it’s not some restrictive or fad diet, it’s just food. If you still want to eat a cheeseburger and french fries, you still can. Though, if you’re cooking more often, you’ll probably think more about your eating/cooking choices, and I think that helps contribute to eating healthier.
So, Where’s The Diatribe About Chemicals?
Well, there’s not going to be one. Am I a big fan of pesticides? No, I think corporate farms use them like they do antibiotics (or doctors prescribe antibiotics). Do I question some of the GMO foods out there? Absolutely (but that’s largely a skepticism about the ability of corporations to make decisions that aren’t solely in the interest of the bottom line).
However, I feel more peace of mind knowing what is in my food than I do fear about what “bonus features” may be included. And that probably goes double for my kids. I like knowing I’m giving them quality food instead of hoping.
Should I Go Organic?
If the things I’ve mentioned that worked for us are important to you as well, it’s probably worth a shot. I’m not here to preach, but to share. I honestly believe that going organic has been a big part of a bigger set of life changes. I feel better when I eat organic, which makes me feel better about buying organic, and I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.