In the tech-era we live in, we have an overload of information literaly at our fingertips. Whatever question you have, chances are it can be answered if you simply 'google it'. There is also a flood of 'health' 'diet' and 'fitness' style blogs, instagram and Facebook pages. I think it's great that so many people are on journeys to a healthier lifestyle, but there is also a lot of crap out there too, and the definition of 'healthy' is a little distorted. There is one common thought that most agree on, and that is Organic is Best.
Most of us aren't lucky enough to have grown up on true organic produce, the way our grandparents did, but as ladies who are uber-passionate about changing our lives for the better (yes I'm talking to you beautiful readers!) you're probably on a journey to organic living, just like me. We're learning all that we can, sharing the info with the people we love, and changing our shopping lists.
The problem is, deciding to live a more organic lifestyle, is much easier than actually doing it. Changing food habits that have been ingrained since birth, take a lot to reverse. I'm not just talking about what you eat, the 'weekly shop' becomes a completely different routine, catching up with friends for a BBQ requires more planning and prep, and usually taking your own food. Then you have the guilt ' Am I being rude by bringing my own food? Should I just have what everyone else is having? I don't want to cause a scene!' I have felt all of these things and still sometimes do. But let me share this thought, (not that you can stop me cause I'm typing it) Food should be something we love and enjoy. The whole process should be a ritual that is a beautiful part of our life. Food should make you feel great inside and out. You should be proud of your decision to make nourishing your body the most important thing you do!
I remember having a conversation with my bestie, Elle, a while back about converting to organic. Elle said her partner and her, eat at least one apple each, per day. So they buy over 14 apples a week, which costs just a few dollars. 'If I change that to organic, thats going to be a price increase of at least $20, and thats just my apples! What about everything else?'. I can totally relate to this question, and I'm sure most of you reading this can too. Eating well costs money, but a long term investment in your health is guaranteed to pay off in the end. A-la living a fuller life for longer.
Heres what I suggest
- Take baby steps. Each time you go shopping swap some of the things you buy for the healthier version. When your olive oil runs out, buy organic coconut oil. When Woolies have organic produce go there first and see how much you get from the organic section.
- Don't replace your current diet with the organic version. Clean up your diet as you go. For example, this week commit to changing your breakfast routine. Instead of buying the organic cereal version of what you normally have, buy the ingredients to make your own granola and almond milk, plus some yummy fruit to go on top. Subtle changes will soon feel normal.
- Packets are expensive. Not just on your pocket either! If it comes in a packet it's processed which means it's full of nasties that will end up in your body. Cut back on how many packets your purchasing, and you'll save lot of money today, and save your health!
- Don't overwhelm yourself. If you aren't limited by budget, you might decide you can be non organic one day, then organic the next. But you need to make it sustainable, changing too many things at once is hard. We aren't meant to adjust that quickly. Be patient grasshopper!
- Be resourceful! Look for bulk organic suppliers in your area and online. Source who is cheaper and buy from them. I have found that they now sell my favourite coconut oil at the organic market we shop at each week, (I used to buy it from a bulk supplier) and its over $5 cheaper. A little bit of research can save you a lot of money.
Almost 12 months since our transition to organics began, I can say that almost all of the food I purchase is organic (except when we eat out), and best of all, I have managed to keep our fortnightly shopping budget exactly the same! For Michael and I, we spend roughly $250 a fortnight on groceries. I still buy things like toilet paper, dishwashing liquid (eco store brand) from a commercial supermarket every now and then, but other than that, I don't step a foot inside a supermarket. Just on a side note - We get a lot for $250! Michael and I are both really active, and eat a lot, and we can comfortably get through with what we have.
Now that I have cleaned up our diets, my next commitment is cleaning up my cleaning! I'm going to overhaul all of those chemicals in my laundry cupboard that I use to clean the house.
Be patient, and don't overwhelm yourself. We're creating lifelong changes and habits, not an overnight success!
What has been the biggest obstacle in transitioning to organic? What can you commit to changing this week? Remember start small!
Also please share your favourite places to shop for organic produce!