Lately, I have come to the conclusion that in order to become healthy, I need to find a way that I can achieve that goal.
I have for the longest time feared Organic foods…why you ask? I was afraid of the prices! However, after doing some research, I have discovered ways to be able to eat all this yummy, safe, and healthy organic food on a budget! If you simply do your homework, you can do the same.
Since my plunge into the Big O, I can honestly say that I feel better! I have more energy, my appetite is fulfilled, I have no desire to eat anything that is not healthy like tons of junk food. I mean look, yes I do get the occasional craving for a piece of chocolate cake, I’m only human and I am a woman…Chocolate is embedded into our dna for crying out1oud! However, my desires, urges, cravings have dropped drastically! No joke!
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…within that earth, he created man and woman, the means to survive, fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats…It’s been here all along folks! So in the beginning of my Big O Foodgasm Journey aka BOFJ…I set out to the only place I knew to get started…Google. I read and read and read some more. I wanted to know everything I possibly could about organics, processed, preserved foods. I needed pros and cons lists! I’m a creature of science. What I found made me drop my jaw and I got sick to my stomach. Suddenly it was like so many questions had answers to them. Like for instance, my health, it made me wonder if eating “normal, everyday, processed” foods were the cause of me being tired, sick to my stomach, on occasion suffer from long stretches of insomnia, in pain, etc…The answer: Most likely. I felt horrible! I knew that I was the cause of my body being assaulted. I wanted to just cry. That was the moment that I stood to make a change! Not just for me, but for my family too. Whether they liked it or not, we were going organic!
Now you may be wondering if you have had the epiphany of changing your dietary lifestyle, where does one begin. Well, I can tell you how I started.
First, take a long, hard look at your food choices. Make a list of things you love to eat, bake, cook with, etc…Everything can be converted to organic. You just have to pay attention and learn what you are willing to convert over, especially if you are on a budget like me. Start with your fruits and veggies. They can all be converted. You can skimp on some of them to be more cost effective.
Let’s start with the definition of Organic:
Foods that have been produced and processed without the use of commercial chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides or synthetic substances that enhance color or flavor. Organic foods must meet legally regulated production standards in order to use the term organic.* <a href=”http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Organic+food”>organic foods</a>
Fruits and Veggies that you SHOULD buy organic:Fruits and vegetable that have a thin skin like apples, strawberries, plums, potatoes, corn, etc..if it is a item that you can’t really peel the skin off, you should buy it organic. If you can peel the skin, you can usually skimp on this as it is the outer layer that is concerning. It is the outer layer that is sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals used in traditional farming techniques.
The USDA and FDA have not set a standard for organic seafood. Even fishes and other seafood can contain items like mercury and PBA and still be labled as organic. Your best bet is just buy what you’ve done in the past here as there is no official guideline on seafood.
Meats and Poultry:
These items are easily available. Cows, pigs, chickens, etc that are deemed organic are raised where they are not given hormones or antibiotics in the raising process. They can however be given certain vitamin supplements. To purchase your meats, I would recommend seeing your local butcher and asking about where they obtain their meats from. Ask if their meat comes from purely organic raised animals. It’s hard for me here to find organic meat at the chain grocery store, so going to the butcher is a more cost effective option. Most butchers do offer specials like Meat Packages for X amount of product for a packaged price. Your meat will be fresh, natural, and taste better. You get a better quality product overall.
Farmer’s Markets & Co-ops:
A resource in finding good quality and price friendly organics, farmer’s markets! Yep! Take a trip over to your local farmer’s market and look around. They have more veggies and fruits available there than at the grocery stores. Also a great thing about FM’s is that the farmers generally have recipes for their products. Yes, you can ask them for recommendations on dishes to use their produce in. You can get lots of yummy ideas this way!
I admit, meat can get rather expensive, but you can however form or join a local Co-Op. Basically it is where a group of people go and purchase a large order of a item and split the cost. Say you guys want to go to a local farmer for a side of beef, unless you are well off, that side of beef can get rather pricey, but if you have a group of people, you all can take that price and divide it up amongst yourselves and split the product up.
Dairy and Cheeses:
These foods you SHOULD buy organic. These come from animals that were raised organic. Check your labels. Milk, butter, cheeses, yogurts, they can be found in organics and should be a top priority on your list. Same with Eggs, make sure your eggs say organic!
There is a big difference between Organic and Natural. The two are not one in the same, so be careful when shopping. Just because it says it’s all natural does not mean that it is organic.
When starting out, you should really convert slowly. Don’t go all out right away until you learn about organics and are sure you want to become a fully organic family. I admit, organic is not for everyone if they are not willing to have the will power and drive to follow it through. You can start with converting your fruits and veggies, then work your way up. I will say this, once you start eating organic, if you happen to eat something that is not organic, it can upset your stomach and make you feel off. That is how I knew it was the best choice for me. I knew that I felt better, had more energy, etc…when I ate something that was non O, I felt sick, tired, nauseated a lot. I had to get back to organic.
Organic isn’t for everyone, but I always say you never know until you try something. Give it shot. See how you like it! You never know, you just might enjoy it and will have a happier, healthier, and more productive life.
I know that this post is pretty bare about this topic, I’m still learning, but I will also continue to post my findings on this and my own personal experiences. Since converting, I have found it really isn’t all that hard to cook organic. Before I thought it would be rather difficult, it’s really not. Maybe, next time I will post about organic household items :o)
Until next time….