Vegetables have always been my nemesis. Jolly Green Giant my heiny! I would have duked it out with the J.G.G. if it meant that I didn’t have to sit at the table until I ate my string beans. Broccoli was my kryptonite, and Brussel sprouts were my Lex Luthor. Everything about asparagus, carrots, and especially peas, seemed cruel and diabolical. Those were simpler times, where taking my Flintstone’s vitamin meant that I was healthy, and a trip to the doctor’s office meant I was given a sticker and a lollipop. Now, neither statement is true, because part of being a “grown up” means being accountable for your own health, and part of living on your own means being accountable for your own groceries.
I do miss the stickers.
After years of eating what was given to me at the dinner table, or, sitting and protesting to eat what was given to me at the dinner table, I have willingly taken practicing good health into my own hands. Making the switch to eating organically has given me the motivation to start eating more vegetables. I didn’t stop there. Gradually, I began switching little things in my life, and week by week I began feeling healthier and cleaner.
Farmers markets and local vendors are where I try to do most of my vegetable shopping in the spring. Winter in New England creates a road block for local legumes; however, there is an amazing fresh produce store about 10 minutes from our apartment that Blake and I visit every few weeks. Meat and most overly processed foods are also switches that I’ve made in the last year. While I still consider myself a meat eater, (I don’t like veggies THAT much), I am adamant about eating grass fed, humanely raised animals. In college, instant macaroni and cheese, cheap chicken cutlets, and tomato soup from the can were my nutrition staples, (along with the weekly trip to the dining hall and hangover Sunday pizza). College life was a time for being strapped for cash, and lazy.
Living a more artificial hormone, antibiotic and chemical free life can be challenging, time consuming, and at times pricy. I spent an hour one Saturday researching my shampoo and make up ingredients, until I determined that my face was bound to melt off, due to the sulfates and parabens I had been exposed to for the last 10 years of my life. I switched to paraben and sulfate free shampoo, and have fallen in love with gentle, organic, handmade soaps, made by local soap makers. (Check out Sweet Grass Farms, based out of New Hampshire!)
I do not consider myself to be a material obsessed girl, and I would rather know that I am spending an extra 20 dollars a week on food that benefits my health, than on a new coach bag. I probably sound like a cave man, don’t I? It’s okay, we’re friends. You can tell me the truth.
Either way, I wanted to share our new little project with you. Blake and I have started to grow our own vegetables, and herbs, in hopes of having a little garden come spring time. The freakishly warm weather we’ve been having in New England has inspired a bit of a green thumb in both of us. We are starting small with three vegetables, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. Blake planted the seeds about three weeks ago, and since then, they have sprouted. Today, we transferred them from the plastic seedling starter, into eco friendly, decomposable pots. We’re psyched, because instead of transferring them again when the ground is thawed, we can plant the decomposable pots directly into the soil.
If this motivates you to start eating healthier, great! If this motivates you to start gardening, great! If you’re flipping through the yellow pages and slowly dialing a psychiatrist, because you think I’ve gone mental, put down the phone, and walk away from the telephone book.